Over 60% cyclone shelters in State not fit for use

The ambitious eight-year National Cyclone Risk Mitigation Project (NCRMP) comes to an end this month. However, over 60% of the cyclone shelters are not fit for use and are in a dilapidated state requiring repair along the 974-km coastline in the nine coastal districts of Andhra Pradesh.

Since 2011, 158 new cyclone shelters were constructed across the Andhra coast under the project, with an objective of ensuring suitable infrastructure for cyclone mitigation and to avoid human loss.

Officials of the Panchayat Raj Engineering Department (PRED) in the nine districts, whom The Hindu contacted, said there are 1,070 cyclone shelters in the State, of which 264 are in a dilapidated state and 393 in desperate need of repair. However, 413 (above 38 per cent) cyclone shelters, including 158 constructed under the NCRMP, are now in use. The department is the body that identifies, proposes and designs cyclone shelters.

In Visakhapatnam that was hit by cyclone Hudhud in 2014, of the 86 cyclone shelters, 15 are in dilapidated state and 42 need repair. "Twenty-nine shelters in good shape and are in use. 39 new shelters have been proposed by spending ₹5.2 crore, but the proposal is yet to get the nod from the government," Visakhapatnam PRED Superintendent of Engineer K. Venugopal said.

In Srikakulam district, having the State’s longest coastline of 192 km, that was devastated by cyclone Titli, 68 cyclone shelters are in dilapidated state while 54 are in need of repair. Barely 59 are in use among the 181 shelters.

In East Godavari, that was hit by Phethai, of the 138 shelters 93 have been abandoned, including 12 dilapidated shelters, and 81 are in need of repair.

Guntur district has the worst cyclone mitigation infrastructure, particularly in the component of cyclone shelters. A whopping 78 shelters are in dilapidated state, while 58 are in need of repair and barely 11 are in use.

V. Prasanna Venkatesh, Managing Director, AP State Disaster Management Authority, said: "The eight-year NCRMP will be come to an end by December 2018. The new proposals for construction of cyclone shelters will be forwarded to the Government of India to be taken up under the World Bank-funded projects. There is no component for construction of new shelters in the existing State Disaster Management programmes."

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Printable version | Jan 16, 2021 9:07:56 AM |

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