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Cyclone Closes in, Ministers Away in Kandhamal

Published: 09th October 2014 06:11 AM  |   Last Updated: 09th October 2014 06:11 AM   |  A+A-

BHUBANESWAR: The Odisha Government on Wednesday said its administrative machinery is fully geared up for tropical cyclone Hud Hud. By administrative machinery, it surely did not mean the Ministers. For, they are away campaigning in Kandhamal for the by-election to the Lok Sabha Constituency. The BJD has pressed into campaigning at least 12 of its Ministers and most of them have been camping in various parts of the district for last several days to look after the poll preparedness of the party.

Even with a natural disaster approaching, the BJD Government has not bothered to pull out the Ministers apprehending a crisis when the Lok Sabha constituency goes to polls on October 15. Ministers with important portfolios such as Health, Transport, Energy, Food Supplies and Consumer Welfare were busy campaigning for the party while essential commodities vanished from the market.

“At least eight to 10 Ministers are always in Kandhamal these days. Only a handful of them come back to Bhubaneswar, only to return immediately. The by-poll, obviously, is very important,” said a party man.

So as ‘Hud Hud’ turned into a cyclonic storm on Wednesday, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik convened a review meeting to take stock of the administrative preparedness.

Barring Revenue and Disaster Management Minister Bijayshree Routray, there was no other Minister in the meeting.

Even MLAs and MPs of coastal and southern Odisha are in Kandhamal while the tropical storm heads towards the east coast.

The Chief Minister and BJD chief is slated to hit the campaign trail in the district on Thursday.

NDRF Teams Ready to Fight ‘Hud Hud’

New Delhi: With the very severe cyclone ‘Hud Hud’ likely to cross Andhra Pradesh and Odisha on October 12 leading to heavy rainfall and winds, the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) has kept six teams ready to handle the situation. One battalion each of NDRF are in total preparedness in Odisha and Andhra Pradesh, the two States to be hit by the cyclonic storm ‘Hud Hud’. Four teams of the force have already left for Visakhapatnam and would be further repositioned based on the request made by the respective State Governments. Besides, one batallion each in West Bengal and Bihar are on alert and could be airlifted anytime if required. The States will be provided with satellite phones and a control room would be operational to tackle the situation.

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