Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Tuesday said the state has set a global benchmark in handling disaster management and the target now was to reduce economic losses caused due to natural calamities like cyclone and floods.
Patnaik said this while addressing a function marking the observance of Odisha Disaster Preparedness Day and the National Day for Disaster Reduction.
"Odisha has already set a global benchmark in handling disasters. The recent disasters demonstrate the need for integrating the principle of resilience in every area of development planning and recovery process to achieve a substantial reduction in economic losses," he said.
The day is observed every year on October 29 as the state was ravaged by the Super Cyclone killing at least 10,000 people in 1999. The state has since emerged as a pioneer in managing disasters, especially cyclones by reducing the human loss in calamities.
Patnaik said cyclone Fani hit the state this year on May 3 in which 64 people were killed and a population of 1.65 crore affected. Cyclone Fani also damaged more than 5 lakh houses and severely damaged power and telecom infrastructure in the coastal districts.
"In coming years, the disaster management efforts of the state will be to build resilience at all levels with a focus of disaster resilience of public infrastructure and services, disaster resilience housing for all and resilient livelihood and sustainable environment to reduce the risk of future disasters," the chief minister said.
Patnaik felicitated Dr Mrutunjay Mahapatra, the director-general of India Meteorological Department (IMD), NGOs and individuals in recognition of their commendable work during a disaster. He praised the personnel of NDRF, ODARF, Fire Service and Odisha Police for their dedicated service during the cyclone Fani.
Odisha's Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) P K Jena speaking at the function said the state government has decided to identify landslide-prone areas to establish the critically vulnerable areas.
Jena said landslide has emerged as a major natural disaster in the state. The IIT, Mumbai has been assigned the responsibility to identify places in Odisha most vulnerable to landslides.
The state government also organized several events to mark the occasion.