Bhubaneswar: Odisha today has the most robust infrastructure for disaster management, and the world has recognised the State government’s efforts in all these years, said Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik today. Speaking on the occasion of Odisha Disaster Preparedness Day and National Day for Disaster Reduction, the CM said this day is for contemplation of the current situation and making resolve for the future.
Reminiscing the horrors of the Super Cyclone and the human lives lost in 1999, the CM said in 23 years since the calamity, the government has done everything possible to make Odisha a safer place during disasters.
“Odisha today has the most robust infrastructure for disaster management. The world has recognised our efforts in all these years. I would like to thank my 4.5 crore brothers and sisters for their support and solidarity in building a disaster resilient Odisha,” he said, while applauding the efforts of PRI members, Mission Shakti Group members, frontline workers like ASHAs and Anganwadi Workers, NGOs and community level volunteers, Government Officials, ODRAF, Fire Services, NDRF and Police personnel for their coordinated work to reduce human casualty.
During the speech, the CM shared that the government will set up Telemetric Rain Gauge in all Gram Panchayats, Automatic Weather Station at Block headquarters, and sensors in our River Systems for better impact-based forecasting and getting precise real time information for more effective management of disasters. Besides, 40,000 volunteers are being trained at village and shelter level to strengthen community driven preparedness.
The government is also taking up capacity building of elected representatives of Panchayati Raj Institutions, Urban Local Bodies, Mission Shakti Members, ASHAs, Anganwadi Workers, Vana Surakhya Samiti (VSS) Members, as they play a key role in disaster risk reduction. This apart, Disaster and Pandemic Management is being introduced in the educational curricula of students from standard 4 to Graduation level with a view to preparing Disaster Management Yodhas in every village and households, the CM added.
“Our geographic location makes us prone to natural disasters. Nearly 10,000 people died in Super Cyclone. Then, we did not have safe shelters. During these years, 815 multi-purpose cyclone and flood shelters have been constructed. 55 new shelters are under construction out of Chief Ministers’ Relief Fund.
During 2022, more than 23 lakh people in 16 districts were affected as the state faced floods in the Mahanadi, Baitarani and Subarnarekha River systems. But due to robust preparedness and coordinated efforts, nearly 2.7 lakh people were evacuated to safer places, he stressed while appealing stakeholders and fellow citizens to come forward and join hands to reaffirm our resolve to create a disaster resilient Odisha.