Centre Asks Action Plan


Union Government has advised the State Government to prepare an Action Plan as Odisha is vulnerable for multiple disasters including earthquakes, wind hazard, cyclone, floods, as reflected in the latest Vulnerability Atlas of India.
State Government is needed to chalk out Action Plan for preventive action and take up preparedness measures and generate awareness among the people, who are vulnerable.
The third edition of the Vulnerability Atlas of India has identified the districts, which are most prone to severe disaster situations and those with multi-hazard situations requiring priority action in future planning, said Durga Sankar Mishra, Secretary in the Union Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs.
Mishra in his letter to the State Government stated that a comprehensive pro-active approach consisting of prevention, reduction and mitigation of these hazards is needed to be taken immediately.
Union Secretary has said in order to minimize damage and disastrous impact, a comprehensive mitigation strategy is required. For example the districts of Khurda, Puri, Balasore Jagatsinghpur, Kendrapada, Dhenkanal, angul, Sambalpur, Jharsuguda, are in Zone III, which is  Moderate Damage Risk Zone  for earthquake.
However, rest of the State is in Zone II, the Low Damage Risk Zone.
Against this back drop, the State Government will have to accordingly design houses in these areas to avoid risk of loss of life and property.
Similar is flood prone zones and wind velocity zones.  Recent experience shows as to how Gajapati, which was not in the high velocity wind zone, has been enlisted in the new Vulnerability Atlas as very high damage risk zone.
While all the coastal districts are enlisted in high damage risk zone for wind hazard, new entrant is Gajapati, which faced wrath of very severe cyclonic storm Titli.
Similarly high damage risk zone and moderate damage risk zones have been identified, so that the State Government will prepare a Road Map for any eventuality.
Flood hazard mapping is also done and coastal zone is mapped as probable maximum hit zone for floods.
Interestingly Odisha has been kept out of landslide incidence map, while thunderstorm incidences are galore in the state.
With such a high vulnerability condition prevailing in Odisha, Union Government has advised to appoint a nodal officer for such an initiative.
Acting upon the guidance of the Union Government, Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) Bishnupada Sethi is proactively taking up preparation of strategy for mitigation.
Recently, State Government has approached Fifteenth Finance Commission for elaborate funding for disaster mitigation and other allied support.
In fact FFC is happy over performance of the state, which has kept a ‘Zero Casualty’ Policy and working towards its achievement, said sources.

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