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Odisha to ramp up disaster management preparedness

₹205 crore set aside for the purpose, says Chief Secretary.

The Odisha government has decided to take disaster management preparedness to next level by inducting hi-tech equipment, enhancing training and capacity building for which ₹205 crore has been sanctioned for the purpose, a senior official said.

The decision in this regard was taken at the State Executive Committee meeting chaired by Chief Secretary A. K. Tripathy.

“To upgrade disaster preparedness ₹205 crore has been sanctioned for the 2020-21 fiscal,” Mr. Tripathy said on Wednesday.

He said there is a need to upgrade the system in view of the intensity and frequency of natural disasters hitting the State.

The Chief Secretary said apart from natural calamity, the State’s preparedness should also be made in advance for industrial disasters.

He directed the authorities to strengthen the disaster fighting arms of the State with hi-tech equipment and innovative training. Mr. Tripathy emphasised on proper maintenance and upkeep of the equipment through regular institutional arrangements.

The Chief Secretary also complimented the ODRAF (Odisha Disaster Rapid Action Force) and Fire Service Units for consistently maintaining a high standard of service in neighbouring West Bengal during Cyclone Amphan.

He said the Fire Service personnel now need to go beyond the traditional fire fighting and develope into ‘First Multi-hazard Responders’

While speaking on the State’s existing preparedness, Additional Chief Secretary and Special Relief Commissioner P K Jena said: “At present, the Odisha Fire Service is equipped to respond to natural disasters in the State and extend helping hand to other States. The new training and equipment would further, sharpen their teeth to deal with different types of disasters“.

The State aimed to procure hi-tech collapsed structure search and rescue (CSSR) equipment and quick deponent antenna (QDA) for ODRAF and Fire Service Units and instruments for disaster management training cell.

He said the Disaster Management Training Cell (DMTC) established in Revenue Officers Training Institute (ROTI), Gothapatana has successfully trained 3,586 persons from ODRAF, Fire Services, Civil Defence, community level volunteers and others in various modules relating to disaster management, search, rescue and first aid.

The new equipment and accessories will be helpful in enhancing the training capacity of the cell, he said, adding that the meeting also reviewed the progress regarding the repair and maintenance of multipurpose cyclone/flood centres (MCS/MFS) operating in different places.

He said a physical audit of 814 shelters operating in 25 districts was completed. Of this, the repair and maintenance of 795 shelters in 23 districts with an investment of ₹45 crore was completed.

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