BHUBANESWAR : With Odisha virtually escaping the Hud Hud scare, the State Government is all set to lend a helping hand to Andhra Pradesh Government in immediate relief and restoration measures. Since the monster storm has left Visakhaptnam crippled, with no communication whatsoever, the Odisha Government will send emergency equipment and man-power to the neighbouring state.
When the Super Cyclone hit the State in 1999, the then chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu had mobilised skilled man-power with equipment to clear the roads and restore communication network in Odisha in a big way.
Naidu spoke to Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik over telephone on Saturday evening and sought the latter’s help in restoration work. Naveen assured to send immediate help. Special Relief Commissioners (SRCs) of both states will remain in constant touch for further help, he told his AP counterpart.
Odisha SRC Pradipta Kumar Mohapatra said, the AP Government has sought road-clearing equipment, technical man-power, electricity poles, and transformers. “We are also ready with DG sets and repairing equipment to be moved to Andhra Pradesh,” Mohapatra said. Visakhapatnam has been battered by the cyclone and BSNL towers and electricity poles are uprooted plunging the port city into darkness and without telecommunication network.
“As of now, there is no way to communicate with the City. The AP Government had helped Odisha in 1999 and it is time to reciprocate. We are ready with our assistance and can send the man-power and equipment through Vizianagaram to Visakhapatnam,” Mohapatra told this paper.
The Odisha Government has already moved four units of National Disaster Rapid Action Force (NDRF) to Andhra Pradesh. Of the 20 units deployed in Odisha, 16 units had been deployed and four had been kept in reserve which have been diverted to Andhra Pradesh which is in need of immediate assistance. Besides, the fire-fighters and rescue teams deployed in the bordering areas will be placed in Srikakulam district of Andhra Pradesh. The Chief Secretary of AP Government had also sought the assistance of Odisha during the daily video conferencing with Cabinet Secretary Ajit Seth on Sunday.