COMPLETE normalcy in WB by Thursday: NDRF Director

NDRF Director SN Pradhan has called for urgently revamping rural infrastructure in Odisha and West Bengal battered by the Amphan cyclonic storm on May 20. Over 90 percent of road clearance is completed in severely-affected districts of West Bengal where 38 NDRF teams have been deployed. Of them,19 are engaged in Kolkata. Inter-village and nearest-town connectivity has been largely restored and even in South 24 Parganas, which was among the hardest-hit districts in WB, traffic is now on the roads. Rebuilding kutcha houses in rural areas will take time. Many people have now started leaving shelters and repairing their own houses. More NDRF teams have been moved from the rural districts to Kolkata where protests over power and water supply disruption have been going on in several areas. Complete normalcy in the state is expected in a day or two, he added. Extreme natural events are going to be more frequent now with the changing climate across the globe compelling the NDRF and other agencies as well as the states to figure out newer strategies to save lives and assets through disaster-resilient infrastructure, especially in the coastal belts, he told  PTI. ‘’Super cyclone Amphan was a timely lesson that we cannot take chances anymore. Villages have to make cyclone-resistant structures, even if they are hutments for the poor, especially in coastal areas. Housing schemes like the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana should incorporate cyclone-resistant designs. Another serious requirement is underground electrification in rural and coastal locations. I know it might not be cost-effective but no technology is so to start with; you have to push for it’’.A total of 86 people died and lakhs were rendered homeless in six West Bengal districts including  Kolkata. The fierce winds blew away shanties, flattened kutcha houses and uprooted thousands of trees and electric poles besides affecting close to 45 lakh people and damaging several houses in the coastal Odisha and West Bengal. Prime Minister Narendra Modi on May 21  made aerial surveys of the damages caused by the natural calamity with WB Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and Governor Jagdeep Dhankar and later her Odisha counterpart Navin Patnaik. PM Modi has provided 1,000 crore INR to WB and 500 crore INR to Odisha as advance payments till central teams assess the exact amount of the damages caused by the super cyclone. (Courtesy to The Hindu for the above picture)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *