Sufficient availability of NDRF (National Disaster Response Force) in advance – Each unit of NDRF consists of 45 skilled personnel trained in carrying out first medical relief, tree cutting and rescue operations. A total of 15 units of NDRF were sent to AP and they were in position by Oct 10/11. A DIG level officer of NDRF monitored their operations from Vizag. The number of NDRF units was further increased to 24 and each team was further divided into two teams and thus we had at least 48-50 units in places. Their timely presence and flexibility in increasing their presence plus the commitment shown by them in carrying out relief and rescue work, esp getting the roads cleared by removing fallen trees was exemplary.
Stocking Civil Supplies requirements, esp rice, sugar, K oil and salt for the month’s requirement at each of the MLS points. Effort should be made to distribute the month’s quota, esp. for the October month when its more of an annual phenomenon, of rice, sugar & K oil in advance so that all card holders have the month’s supply with them. Additionally, MLS points can be filled with stocks for a month for the next month which can immediately be moved out in case ex-gratia supplies are announced.
The inventory availability of essential items, in addition, such as Dal, spices, salt and their stock situation for the district as well as all the neighboring districts can be ascertained and keep in ready condition so that the same can be moved in quickly if needed after the disaster.
Private traders/retailers/shopkeepers plus government/semi-government outlets can be advised to store all such items in sufficient quantity from July onwards and a strict vigil may be kept to ensure against hoardings and speculative price rise anticipating shortages. People can be asked to purchase such essential food-grains in advance for October so that everybody has them in the month of October.
While the state government has been prompt enough to announce ex-gratia relief pertaining to crop including horticulture crop damages, losses to fishermen and damages to kutcha houses, the fact remains that the owner will have to bear the loss in most of the other categories whether it’s a private individual or an institution. It is also a fact that this will cost a huge burden on the state government.
Such a move would not only imply for covering of losses of individuals including farmers and timely compensation, it would ultimately imply a huge saving for the state government. In fact, the premium of providing such insurance cover could be on a sharing basis between the individual and the state government (on a pre-determined transparent criteria depending upon the category) as the state government’s portion of this entire premium will be fraction of what’s being paid as ex-gratia.
This raises a question whether the town and country planning should not prescribe the building types and materials to be used in such cyclone prone areas and thereby ban the usage of certain types of construction material?
It's been truly a very humbling experience facing nature's fury in a disaster such as Hudhud cyclone. However, proper planning, use of technology, inter-department coordination, detailed micro level planning and ability to plan in advance will help minimize damages and restore facilities at the earliest.
A detailed suggestive checklist for district administration's preparedness to meet any challenges arising out of such a natural disaster and to be in a state of readiness so as to minimize the losses and also to ensure that relief is provided immediately and restoration is taken up in the shortest possible time, can be seen here. A copy has been sent to all coastal District Collectors in AP and also the Head of Departments in the state capital. In addition, at the state level, care may also be taken to ensure that some of the key functionaries such as Commissioner, Relief is exempted from taking up any other assignment which implies his absence from the office such as that of Election Observer's