Bhubaneswar, December 29 (LocalWire)2019 was the high voltage election year.
BJD supremo maintained his aura of invincibility by coming to power for the record fifth term.
But more than the twin polls and its outcome, the year will be best remembered for the cataclysmic vagaries of nature that had left scores dead and lakhs marooned in the State.
Odisha faced extremely severe cyclone ‘FANI’ on May 3, a rare summer cyclone, the first one to hit in 43 years and one of the only three cyclones to hit Odisha in the last 150 years.
The nature’s fury that barreled through coastal Odisha had brought in its wake trails of damage to life and property of more that 1.65 crore people in 12 districts it passed through.
The extent of devastation was the most pronounced in Puri and Khurda districts.
Bhubaneswar, Odisha’s capital city, had also equally borne the brunt of cyclone.
With cyclone ‘Fani’ virtually wiping out its green cover, Bhubaneswar conferred the coveted smartest city tag will never be same again.
The environmental cost of the massive loss in green cover was of manifold proportion.
The greenery loss has led to increase in air pollution, thinning down of ground water table besides rise in temperature and atmospheric humidity.
The city has already turned into concrete jungle with spurt skyscrapers and multi-storied apartments.
The tree loss in Bhubaneswar was to the tune of ten lakhs.
It’s the city’s fall from grace, induced by nature.
Odisha had already set global benchmark in handling disasters by leveraging technology, strengthening institutional capacities and building resilient measures.
The agencies had undertaken one of the biggest human evacuations in history with a record 1.5 million people being shifted in just 24 hours.
The exemplary courage and strength shown by the people of Odisha in the face of such a calamity and the human resource and services extended by various state Governments, national and international organizations was overwhelming.