BALASORE: Every time a cyclonic storm hits the State, this northern district faces a series of flash floods. And this time, the situation would be no different. Government, though, is yet to set up a disaster response force here.
Frequently affected by cyclone and flood, Balasore district needs at least two units of Odisha Disaster Rapid Action Force (ODRAF) at the district headquarters and in north zone to come to the rescue of the people of Bhogarai, Jaleswar and Baliapal blocks.
Though one unit is at Balasore having 42 personnel and six boats, the demand for another unit for the northern region is yet to be fulfilled. Locals claimed that the existing unit fails to cater to the needs of victims residing more than 100 km from the district headquarters at the time of emergency.
According to the reports, the district has witnessed 54 natural disasters in the form of flood, cyclone and draught in the last six decades. But the Government has failed to take permanent remedial measures.
Once set up, the unit can handle multi faceted operations like water rescue, relief line clearance, collapsed structure search and rescue, medical first responder, transportation, communication, personal protective equipment and logistics.
Balasore SP Awinash Kumar said the district has one unit each of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and ODRAF that are well equipped to meet any eventuality.