Bhubaneswar: Odisha government has sanctioned Rs 205 crore to switch over to hi-tech disaster management.

With International accolades in disaster management, State government have started the move to climb new height in disaster management with hi-tech equipments, training and capacity building. This was decided in the State Executive Committee meeting held on digital mode under the chairmanship of chief secretary Asit Tripathy from Lokseba Bhawan wherein additional chief secretary and special relief commissioner Pradeep Kumar Jena outlined the technical, financial and administrative contours for discussion.

Considering the intensity and frequency of natural disasters along with the need for preparedness to face industrial disasters, chief secretary directed to strengthen the disaster fighting arms of the State with hi-tech equipments and innovative training. An additional amount of around Rs. 55.22 cr was sanctioned in the meeting taking total sanction to around Rs.205 cr for the current year. While approving the proposals, Tripathy emphasized on proper maintenance and upkeep of the equipments through regular institutional arrangements.

Further, chief secretary Tripathy complimented the ODRAF and Fire Service Units of Odisha for consistently maintaining a higher standard of service in neighboring states. He also directed to extend contours of Fire Service wing beyond traditional fire fighting and build them up as ‘First Multi-hazard Responders’.

Additional chief secretary Jena said, “At present, the Odisha Fire Service is equipped to respond to natural disasters in the State and extend helping hands to other States. The new training and equipments would further sharpen their teeth to deal with different types of disasters”.

Available data show that a total amount of Rs.205.21 cr has been sanctioned for hi-tech equipments and capacity building activities during the current financial year of 2020-21. This includes procurement of high-tech collapsed structure search and rescue (CSSR) equipments and quick deponent antenna (QDA) for ODRAF and Fire Service Units; and, the instruments for disaster management training cell.

ACS and SRC Jena appraised, “The Disaster Management Training Cell (DMTC) established in Revenue Officers Training Institute (ROTI), Gothapatana has successfully trained 3586 persons from ODRAF, Fire Services, Civil Defense, community level volunteers and others in various modules relating to disaster management, search, rescue and first aid etc. The center has also successfully conducted several specialized training courses such as MFR, CSSR, FRB, Rope Rescue, First Aid, EMC, FAMEX and CAP for ODRAF and Fire Service personnel. The new equipment and accessories will be helpful in enhancing the training capacity of the cell”.

The meeting also reviewed the progress regarding the repair and maintenance of multi-purpose cyclone/flood centers (MCS/MFS) operating at different places. Review showed that so far physical audit of 814 shelters operating in 25 districts was completed. Out of this, the repair and maintenance of 795 shelters in 23 districts with investment of Rs.45 cr was completed.

Development commissioner Suresh Chandra Mohapatra, ACS Health & Family Welfare Pradeepta Kumar Mohapatra, DG Police Abhay, principal secretary home Sanjiv Chopra, principal secretary revenue and disaster management Bishnupada Sethi, principal secretary agriculture Dr Saurbh Garg, principal secretary water resources Anu Garg, piincipal secretary energy Nikunja Bihari Dhal, DG Fire Service Satyajit Mohanty, executive director OSDMA Kamal Mishra along with other senior officers participated in the discussions.