Bhubaneswar, Oct 29: Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Sunday said more than Rs 2 thousand crore will be spent to create disaster-resilient infrastructure in the state.
While addressing a gathering at the State-level observation of Odisha Disaster Preparedness Day, 2023 here at Rabindra Mandap, Patnaik said his government is giving top priority to resilient infrastructure to withstand the devastating natural disasters.
The state observes the Disaster Preparedness Day on October 29 every year remembering the devastating Super Cyclone that hit Odisha on the same day 24 year back. The state witnessed massive loss of human lives due to the super cyclone.
“Since then, we have made significant strides in making Odisha safer during disasters. Today, we are a model for other states and countries to follow. Our efforts for effective disaster management have received wide acclaim. Odisha has been bestowed with the prestigious Nataji Subash Chandra Bose Apadaa Prabandhan Puraskar for the year 2023 by the Government of India,” said the Chief Minister.
He also stated that many lives could be saved despite serious injuries during the tragic train accident at Bahanaga on June 2 this year due to the quick response by the state government.
“We could save so many lives due to the immediate intervention of local communities, volunteers, PRI members and specialised responders like ODRAF, Fire Services and NDRF and of course the tireless efforts of doctors,” added CM Patnaik.
Patnaik informed the gathering that four regional disaster response hubs will be set up at Cuttack, Berhampur, Sambalpur and Rayagada to reduce the response time to any disaster. He also said that state wide risk mapping will be undertaken for various disasters.
This year’s theme for the ‘Odisha Disaster Preparedness Day’ is “Empowering Community for Resilient Odisha.”
“In any disaster situation, our communities are the first responders. Amendments to Panchayat Acts have been made to ensure disaster management planning at the level of Panchayati Raj Institutions. To make the communities resilient, disaster management plans will be prepared in more than 10 thousand vulnerable villages,” Patnaik informed.
Meanwhile, Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) Satyabrata Sahu said the maximum number of persons in the state is dying for three major reasons -- snake bite, lightning and drowning. Massive awareness campaigns will be organised to educate at the grass root level to check snake bite deaths and drowning deaths.
Special budget allocation will be made to ensure massive plantation of palm trees that have been playing the role of lightning arresters. The Odisha Disaster Rapid Action Force (ODRAF) units currently exist in 20 districts and a proposal has been sent to the state government for the setting up of ODRAF units in all the 30 districts.