‘Efforts on to restore normalcy’

Taking stock: Lt. Governor Kiran Bedi holding a review meeting on rehabilitation efforts.   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

The district administration, which placed 2,397 persons in 206 relief centres ahead of the landfall of Cyclone Nivar, will be providing basic amenities to the evacuees for a few more days.

The Department of Civil Supplies & Consumer Affairs has planned for an initial supply of 5,000 food packets through its central kitchen, for supply to the affected communities, said Lt. Governor Kiran Bedi, who held a review of the efforts. The Department has been instructed to accumulate enough stock for the next three to four days.

Ms. Bedi said except for water stagnation and the falling of trees in some areas, there had been no loss of human life or livestock reported. Further, no major damage was seen. The line departments concerned were in the process of draining out stagnant water in low-lying areas and removing trees uprooted during the cyclone, she said. Efforts are being made to restore normalcy in affected areas, she said.

According to the Lt. Governor, severl measures had been taken after rounds of consultations with line departments, in the wake of the warning issued by the Indian Meteorological Department about a potentially severe cyclonic storm over southwest Bay of Bengal, which was likely to cross Tamil Nadu and Puducherry coasts, between Karaikal and Mamallapuram, Wednesday midnight, with a wind speed of 120-130 kmph, gusting upto 145 kmph.

As part of preparedness activities, low-lying areas with previous history of water-logging and stagnation were identified, and 206 public/private schools and community halls earmarked as relief centres. The availability of essential civic amenities were ensured for relocated people. Arrangements were also made for COVID-19 screening for those in the shelters, apart from distributing hand sanitisers and face masks among them.

So far, test results of none of the 697 persons screened for COVID-19 has returned positive. People from the frontline coastal area were evacuated and accommodated in 55 relief camps/shelters. Fishermen were advised not to venture into the sea and to secure their fishing assets to prevent damage. Fishermen from Karaikal, who had ventured into the sea on 10 boats, were instructed to return.

According to Ms. Bedi, assisting post-cyclone relief works of departments such as PWD, municipality and forest, were three NDRF teams (59 members) from Arakkonam, in Puducherry, and one team (20 members) in Karaikal. An army column of 110 personnel of the humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HADR) unit were requisitioned from the Integrated Defence Staff, Chennai. Besides, the Air Force has set up a sector disaster management unit for Puducherry. Ten helicopters have been kept on standby.

Balaji Srivastava, DGP; A. Anbarasu, Relief and Rehabilitation Commissioner, and Pankaj Kumar Jha, special secretary and Collectors of Puducherry and Karaikal Purva Garg and Arjun Sharma participated.

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Printable version | Jan 21, 2021 7:42:42 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/puducherry/efforts-on-to-restore-normalcy/article33188837.ece

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