Bhubaneswar, November 22 (LocalWire): The Government of state Odisha has undertaken safety audits of multipurpose shelter buildings that are being used for providing temporary shelter to evacuees during natural disasters.
The coastal state which is often exposed to nature’s fury is home to 759 multi-purpose shelter buildings.
However, according to reports received by the government agencies from time to time indicate that the majority of these shelters are not in good shape.
Presenting the details before state assembly on Friday, Revenue and Disaster Management minister Sudam Marandi said, “We have received reports that some of these multipurpose cyclone shelter buildings are in bad shape and hence the safety audit is underway to evaluate the status.
A project to refurbish and renovate the buildings has also been drawn up. The buildings that are found to be in bad shape as per the technical standard by the safety audit will be taken up for renovation.”
These shelter houses had turned into temporary homes for an estimated 12 lakh people from vulnerable areas as they were evacuated to safety as 3 May as cyclone Fani barreled through coastal Odisha bringing in its wake trails of devastation.
The buildings are designed to withstand wind speed up to 300 kilometers per hour and endure moderate earthquakes.
Their plinth is above the High Flood line (HFL) so that it could remain unaffected in storm surge up to the level of one floor.
To ensure the safety of people taking shelter in these multi-purpose buildings from the scourge of lightning, the state government has drawn up a project to put in place lightning arrest system in these structures
Precious human lives could be saved in Odisha due to these shelter houses despite a series of cyclonic storms struck the coastal state since the past two decades, the minister stated.
It’s pertinent to note here rights activists had earlier drawn the attention of Orissa Human Rights Commission stating that more than 50 per cent of cyclone shelter buildings in the state have turned unsafe due to lack of periodic maintenance by the government agencies.
The rights panel had served notices to Special Relief Commissioner, Orissa State Disaster Management Authority and the Disaster Management Department, and had called upon the concerned authorities to repair and rebuild the ill-maintained structures expeditiously.