Shah suggests Odisha train people to handle chemical, nuclear disasters

10:05 AM Aug 06, 2023 | PTI |

Appreciating the Odisha government’s skill in handling natural calamities such as cyclones and floods, Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Saturday suggested that the state administration train ‘Aapda Mitras’ and disaster warriors in handling chemical and nuclear disasters.


He advised that the ‘Aapda Mitras’ and disaster warriors in the state be imparted multi-disaster training in handling chemical and nuclear disasters.

He also suggested that home guard volunteers be also trained in disaster response.

Shah made the suggestions here while reviewing the disaster management and left-wing extremism (LWE) situation in Odisha, which was attended by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, the Union home secretary and senior officers of the Ministry of Home Affairs and the state government.

‘Aapda Mitras’ are trained disaster response volunteers working at the taluka or block level in various states.


Lauding the state government’s initiative in disaster response towards mitigation efforts, Shah said these are in line with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of making India disaster resilient.

He assured the Odisha government of providing all requisite central government support in its mitigation efforts to make Odisha disaster resilient. The Union minister appreciated the state’s preparedness, which has made a lot of progress in disaster management after the 1999 super cyclone in which at least 10,000 people died.

Shah said regular funding from the budget head be made for ensuring the maintenance of the multi-purpose cyclone shelters in the state.

He stressed the adoption of standard operating procedures, appropriate preparedness and mitigation efforts by the state administration to save lives from incidents of lightning, heat waves and forest fires. He also emphasised on focussing on the safety of animals during disasters.

The Union home minister thanked Odisha government for its ”excellent response” during the train disaster in Balasore and appreciated the efforts of the administration as well as village-level volunteers for it.

Speaking on the LWE situation, Shah suggested the state government invest in infrastructure development in the LWE-affected areas to supplement the efforts of the central government.

He assured the state government of support of central forces to eliminate Left Wing Extremism. He also assured all possible support in strengthening road and communication networks in the affected areas, especially connecting all villages via the internet.

”We should address all issues which contribute to the growth of LWE, including the absence of connectivity, education and employment,” Shah said.

The state should also consider earmarking funds for the establishment of PDS shops, construction of roads and provision of electricity in LWE-affected areas, he added. Earlier in the day, Shah inaugurated the much-awaited 51-km Kamakshyanagar-Duburi four-lane section of National Highway 53 here in presence of Patnaik.

While thanking the state government and Patnaik, the Union home minister said the Centre has spent Rs 761 crore for four-laning the 51-km section of the national highway. The road links the coal belt in Talcher and the steel hub at Kalinga Nagar.

”This road will link the mineral rich Angul and Dhenkanal districts with the NH and will act as an economy booster for the region,” he said.

Describing the national highways as the ”fate-line” of the nation, Shah said Modi has always stressed on infrastructure development projects as they change the fate of a country.

”Like Odisha, people of Gujarat also worship Lord Jagannath. On August 5, 2019, Modi had taken the historic decision to scrap Article 370. On this occasion, I thank the PM on behalf of people of the country,” Shah said.

Shah along with Patnaik also laid the foundation stone for the widening and strengthening of Moter to Banner via Ladugaon Road in Kalahandi district. The programme was held at the convention centre in Lok Seva Bhavan, the state secretariat, in Bhubaneswar.

The Kamkhyanagar-Duburi stretch has two major bridges, seven minor bridges, seven underpasses, two animal underpasses, and a 1.73-km-long bypass.

For safe passage of wild animals through the stretch, a 160-metre and another 80-metre animal underpasses have also been constructed.

Addressing the gathering, Patnaik said, ”My government believes that connectivity is the key to progress of the state and empowerment of our people.” Citing the example of Gurupriya bridge in Malkangiri, Patnaik said it played a catalytic role in the development of the entire area.

Patnaik said the Biju Expressway, an economic corridor connecting west and south Odisha, will be a crucial platform to propel growth in the region.

Saying Odisha always believes in cooperative federalism, Patnaik thanked the central government for its support to the state in its development agenda.


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