State, KMC gear up to tackle impact of Fani
Kolkata: The state government, along with Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC), is taking all possible preparation in the wake of severe cyclonic storm Fani, which is expected to hit the coastal belt of the state between Friday night and Saturday morning.
Chief Secretary Malay De held a high-level meeting at Nabanna with all concerned departments and senior officials of Navy, Coast Guard, NDRF, State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF) and Kolkata Police. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, while addressing an election rally at Bhatpara, said the state is making all possible arrangements and said that a control room will remain functional at Nabanna from May 2 to 5. The number of the control room is 1070 (toll free) and 22535185.
NDRF will deploy one company of force each in places like Jhargram, Kharagpur, Digha, Kakdwip, Hasnabad and Dhamakhali as precautionary measure. Four SDRF teams have moved to Basanti in South 24-Parganas, Contai and Haldia in East Midnapore and Arambagh in Hooghly, with a standby team of SDRF at Nabanna.
Ferry service and plying of all boats will be closed from May 3 to May 4 in East and West Midnapore, Jhargram, North & South 24-Parganas, Jhargram, Howrah, Hooghly and Kolkata. There will be quick response teams from civil defence deployed in North 24-Parganas, South 24-Parganas, Purba Medinipur, Paschim Medinipur, Jhargram, Howrah and Hooghly.
Mayor Firhad Hakim held a meeting at the KMC headquarters along with some concerned government agencies and issued instructions to dismantle all hoardings by early Friday morning to rule out any chances of damage caused due to their collapse.
"The leaves of all concerned departments of the civic body have been cancelled. We will do announcements along with Kolkata Police in front of all dilapidated buildings and will ask them to vacate them immediately to avert any mishap. Our main aim is to ensure that there isn't loss of a single life," Hakim said.
The Mayor did not rule out the chances of waterlogging in the city, but assured that the civic body is making arrangements for quick drainage of water by alerting all pumping stations. There will be arrangements of relief material, food and water in all boroughs.
The Kolkata Port Trust has issued a general alert for all ships in the docks both at Kolkata Dock System and Haldia Dock Complex, which have been specifically advised to take all precautionary measures. 5 Coast Guard vessels and all operational crafts of the port are being provided safe berthing inside docks.
Ships from riverine jetties at Haldia and Budge Budge and Sagar and Diamond Harbour anchorages have either been put out to sea or shifted to docks.