Micro-level planning helped minimise damage: Collector

Coordinated approach by all departments, including the police, and also micro level-planning besides targeted evacuation by the District Administration in Cuddalore, were chiefly responsible for minimising damage and saving the district from a major catastrophe during the recent Cyclone Nivar and torrential rain.

Cuddalore district is a flood-prone region and would normally fall a prey to the fury of cyclone and heavy rains. But learning from past disasters, including the Thane Cyclone in 2011 and the 2015 floods, this time planning by all departments much in advance and identification of 271 vulnerable areas for focussed attention and intensive concentration kept the cyclone at bay.

According to Collector Chandra Sekhar Sakhamuri, “Evacuation routes were finalised for all the 271 locations to bring people to the shelters. As many as 39 inter-departmental teams formed to keep close vigil on the fury of cyclone were also seized of the situation and rose to the occasion as effectively as they could."

"Police personnel were stationed every 10 km to ensure that there was no room for any eruption of law and order problem and removal of fallen trees was also taken up expeditiously. The district did not witness any loss of human life due to the preparedness," he said.

As many as 416 Disaster Response Guards (DRG), 210 personnel from the State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) and 3,240 First Responders were roped in to conduct a well-targeted evacuation plan, which had involved moving of 52,226 persons to Cyclone shelters.

The Water Resources Organisation of the PWD personnel put in effective steps to prevent any situation arising out of torrential rains. Over 1.40 lakh sand bags were dumped to prevent flooding while another 60,000 empty bags were kept ready, he said. The inter-departmental zonal teams were also stationed at major waterbodies including Veeranam tank, Wellington lake and Perumal tank to monitor the rising water levels.

The Collector ,said that planning much ahead of the occurrence of cyclone from August had seen its fruitful impact and there was no big damage. While the administration has the primary role to reduce risk of disasters, the responsibility was also shared with other authorities and stakeholders. NLC India Ltd was made part of the team to ensure that water from the Mines were not discharged as had occurred during the 2015 floods. The impact of rain and floods on agricultural crop would be known only at the end of ongoing assessment. While preliminary estimates are ready, the final inclusion is under way, he added.

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Printable version | Jan 24, 2021 8:29:33 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/puducherry/micro-level-planning-helped-minimise-damage-collector/article33216991.ece

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