Mamata Banerjee on Thursday held a meeting with top government officials and took stock of the state’s preparedness for the cyclone that is likely to form on the Bay of Bengal on May 22 and then make a landfall somewhere between Bengal and Odisha coastlines on May 26 morning.
Sources said the chief minister had passed on a series of instructions to the government officials to ensure that loss of life was prevented and normality restored at the earliest after the cyclone passed away.
“The chief minister has asked us to set up control rooms at the state as well as district levels at the earliest so that the required preparatory work is taken up properly,” said an official.
The state government has also decided to keep teams ready to rescue people, clear roads and restore electricity with an utmost urgency.
The state is also in touch with agencies like NDRF, navy and army for restoration and evacuation works in a coordinated manner.
“The state government has started keeping flood shelters ready in coastal districts, including South 24Parganas, North 24Parganas, East Midnapore and West Midnapore. Arrangements for ferrying people living in the vulnerable areas have also been kept ready. As soon as an alert is received from the Met office, our work would start,” said a source.
“The state government has also asked the irrigation department to identify vulnerable river embankments and carry out urgent repairs within 48 hours to avert villages’ inundation,” said an official.
Leaves of employees of all departments that deal with emergency works like water supply, power supply, health, public works department, irrigation, transport and civil defence have been cancelled.
The state government has also asked district administrations to arrange for masks, sanitisers and generators for the flood shelters where affected people would be put up.
“We have to ensure that the Covid19 pandemic does not get deteriorated as many people would stay together at flood shelters. When Amphan had hit on this day last year, the rural areas were free from Covid. But the situation is different this year as the novel coronavirus has reached even remote areas,” said an official.