BHUBANESWAR: Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Wednesday emphasised community participation in disaster management and asked officials to ensure implementation of this model in natural calamity-prone areas of the State.
Presiding over the State-level Natural Calamity Committee meeting virtually, the Chief Minister said the motto of Odisha’s disaster management policy is 'every life is precious' and this can only be achieved by coordinated efforts from all the departments. The impact of natural disasters can be lessened by such synchronised functioning of different departments, he added.
The Chief Minister said the State government had decided to train elected representatives and officials in disaster management and include the topic in school and college syllabus to prepare all citizens to face natural calamities.
Stating that Odisha is most vulnerable to natural disasters, he said the State faces cyclone and drought on a regular basis. Odisha had to tackle two cyclones, Amphan and Yaas, in 2020-21 as natural disasters occur more frequently due to the adverse impact of climate change, he added.
The Chief Minister said making a permanent solution for cyclones requires heavy investment and the government has drawn the attention of the Centre to the issue. He said the State will pass through a crucial period between June and October as the south-west monsoon has already set in. As there is possibility of flood and cyclone during the period, the State will have to remain prepared to tackle such natural calamities, he added.
Installation of pre-warning system is important to tackle a cyclone, the Chief Minister said, adding, the administration should also be prepared with a relief and rescue system, ensure availability of drinking water and health services.
He said that ODRAF and Fire Services teams should be prepared to tackle any eventuality. Besides, food materials and medicines should be stocked in inaccessible areas, he added.
Naveen asked officials to give priority to shifting of expecting mothers, physically and mentally challenged persons, children, widows and elderly persons to safer places during cyclone and flood. He said all infrastructure to tackle cyclone and flood should be made ready as early as possible.
Finance Minister Niranjan Pujari gave details of preparatory steps taken by the government to face natural calamity. Leader of the Congress Legislature Party Narasingha Mishra, Jayant Sarangi (BJP), Anant Das and Pratap Keshari Deb (BJD) also participated.