WB aided Rs 1,600 cr Disaster Mitigation project for 13 states

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Hyderabad, Sep 24 (UNI) A World Bank-aided Rs 1,600 crore National Cyclone Risk Mitigation Project will be implemented in 13 coastal states and Union territories, National Disaster Management Authority Vice-Chairman Gen N C Vij said today.

In the first phase, the project would be implemented in Andhra Pradesh, Orissa, Gujarat and Maharashtra from the middle of next year, he said at the release of NDMA guidelines for management of cyclones by Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y S Rajasekhara Reddy.

Assuring cooperation for all NDMA initatives, the Chief Minister sought their guidence for effective disaster management after holding a review of the state's prepardness with officials.

Andhra Pradesh would get Rs 400 crore for construction and maintenance of cyclone shelters, development of mangrove plantations, establishment of last mile connectivity and improvement of link roads to be better prepared to face the hazards of cyclones, Gen Vij said.

A Rs 500-crore Earthquake Mitigation Project would also be taken up in quake-prone areas next year, he said, adding that 60 per cent of the funds would be used for capacity building in quake-prone areas.

As many as eight batallions, including one to tackle man-made disasters like chemical, biological and nuclear disasters, were being raised, he said, adding that one batallion would be set up in Andhra Pradesh.

NMDA member M Sashidhar Reddy said National Cyclone Disaster Management Institute would be set up in Andhra Pradesh to bridge the gap in the integration of disaster-related technical support of all departments and Ministries of the Union Government with those of States, Union Terroritories and local authorities.

Stressing the need for documentation of disasters, Mr Reddy said every event threw up some ''success stories.'' There were also instances of consequences of inaction and some glaring failure stories, which tended to be ignored or get covered-up.

He called for a change in relief and rehabilitation-oriented approach in favour of a holistic approach to mitigate the sufferings of the cyclone-affected people.

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