An aerial view of destruction caused by cyclone Fani in Odisha. (Photo/ANI)
An aerial view of destruction caused by cyclone Fani in Odisha. (Photo/ANI)

Restoration of power, telecom services in Odisha top priority: Centre

ANI | Updated: May 05, 2019 19:41 IST

New Delhi [India], May 5 (ANI): Cabinet Secretary PK Sinha on Sunday directed officers of central departments concerned to coordinate with the Odisha government to ensure that restoration of power and telecommunication services is accorded top priority in the state which bore the brunt of cyclone Fani.
Sinha, who chaired a meeting of the National Crisis Management Committee to review the relief measures in cyclone-affected areas of Odisha, West Bengal and Andhra Pradesh, also asked the officers to closely work with the state governments to provide all required assistance expeditiously.
"Cabinet secretary directed that restoration of power and telecommunication facilities be accorded top priority and Ministry of Power and Department of Telecommunications to coordinate with the Odisha government," an official statement said.
At the meeting, officers from the Odisha government conveyed that power and telecommunication facilities were gradually being restored in the affected areas.
"Major damages to the power transmission and distribution systems are reported in Bhubaneswar and Puri. Mobile services have been restored partially. In both the cities, about 70 per cent water supply will be restored by Sunday evening," the statement said.
It said that the Power Ministry has provided Odisha with diesel generators of 500KVA, 250KVA and 125 KVA capacity and workforce to ensure faster restoration process of power lines and towers.
"Sixty per cent of affected telecom towers are expected to be operational by Sunday and diesel supplies are being provided to make them functional using DG sets in the absence of regular power supply. Sufficient stocks of diesel and other fuels are available in Odisha," it said.
Odisha's neighbouring states, Andhra Pradesh and West Bengal, have been requested to provide additional assistance to the cyclone-hit state, particularly in the area of power, according to the statement.
The railways have resumed 85 of the 138 cancelled trains. The main line to Bhubaneswar is now operational while Puri Railway Station will be ready to receive trains in about four to five days. Flight operations to state capital Bhubaneswar resumed with 41 flights operating on Saturday, it said.
The National Disaster Relief Force has cleared fallen trees from most of the roads in Puri, Khurda and Bhubaneswar and normal traffic has resumed. The Defence Ministry moved medicines and other relief material to the state using transport planes and helicopters, the statement noted.
"Naval and Coast Guard vessel near Odisha coast have enough water supplies to be supplied to affected areas," it said.
It was suggested that public sector companies in power, oil and gas sectors contribute towards relief efforts under their CSR funding.
Chief/principal secretaries of Odisha, West Bengal and Andhra Pradesh participated in the meeting through video conference. Senior officials from central ministries and departments concerned attended the meeting.
Meanwhile, food packets were dropped by chopper using INS Ranvijay in the coastal areas of Puri district, where the "extremely severe cyclonic storm" made landfall on Friday. (ANI)