Orissa to set up more Disaster Rapid Action Forces: CM

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Bhubaneswar, Oct 29 (UNI) Orissa Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik today assured that more Disaster Rapid Action Force units would be organised to meet the disasters in the state.

Presently, five units of Orissa Disaster Rapid Action Force units were in operation.

Addressing a function organised to observe the State Disaster Preparedness Day and the National Day for disaster Reduction here, the chief minister said efforts were underay to reduce the impact of disasters through better community awareness and alertness.

The development of the state was unimaginable without reducing its vulnerability to natural disasters, he remarked.

Mr Patnaik said the government had identified tsunami-prone villages and was taking steps to increase awareness among the people. He urged the government agencies, NGOs, Panchayatraj institutions, community-based organisations, Self Help Groups and the media to play a proactive role in preparedness, prevention, mitigation and management of disasters.

The chief minister said the coping capacities of people should be strengthened to meet the impact of natural calamities. The government, he said, was building 42 more shelters in flood and cyclone-prone areas Since the super cyclone hit the state eight years back, the government had already built 97 multi-purpose cyclone shelters, 1,149 high schools, 8,890 primary school buildings, which could be used as shelters during calamities, he said.

In addition, better communication infrastructure was now in place and all cyclone-prone gram panchyats, block and district headquarters had been connected with civil wireless system, he said.

Orissa Revenue Minister Manmohan Samal and Women and Child Welfare Department Pramila Malik also spoke on the occasion.

The state government had posthumously honoured one Dipti Ranjan Patra of Kashipur block in Rayagarda district, who sacrificed his life while rescuing a patient from drowning in the flash floods last August.

His wife Sanjukta received the award. In addition, IAF, Army, ODRAF personnel, some other volunteers and government officials were also honoured for their exemplary service during the floods on the occasion.

UNI

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