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Hon’ble Union Home Minister conducts aerial survey and visits farmers, hospital and shelter home in Kutch

    Hon’ble Union Home Minister said that ‘Zero Casualty’ during the cyclone in Gujarat was a result of the farsighted and visionary approach of Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi

    Hon’ble Union Home Minister applauds Hon’ble CM Shri Bhupendra Patel and his team for successful and effective disaster management efforts

    Hon’ble Minister reviewed the progress of recovery and rehabilitation and instructed officials for speedy restoration of essential services

    “As soon as the cyclone warning came, Hon’ble Prime Minister personally monitored the situation closely, till late night and instructed entire administration to remain alert and vigilant”: Shri Amit Shah, Hon’ble Union Home Minister

    “The work for restoration of services is going on in full swing and normalcy will be restored at the earliest”: Shri Amit Shah

    Gandhinagar, Saturday: Hon’ble Union Home Minister Shri Amit Shah visited the cyclone affected areas in Kutch today. He visited affected farmers in Kathda village in Mandvi taluka and also inquired about the well-being of pregnant women and elders at sub-district hospital, Mandvi. He also visited a cyclone shelter at Jakhau and held a review meeting with officers of State and Central Govt at Bhuj. He instructed MHA and State Govt to collaborate for an extensive documentation of steps taken by all agencies, as a successful model of zero-casualty of disaster management. Further, he suggested that horticulture experts from Agriculture Universities may guide affected farmers to restore and revive their damaged horticulture crop/trees in Kutch. Hon’ble Chief Minister Shri Bhupendra Patel accompanied the Union Home Minister during this visit.

    The Union Home Minister took stock of the overall situation in Kutch and praised the state government’s efforts in ensuring a Zero Casualty Approach towards Disaster Preparedness. He assured complete support to Gujarat from the Union Government, during the rehabilitation and recovery process in the post-cyclone scenario. He also praised the commitment of the state government to provide cash doles/ financial assistance to affected people and to restore normalcy in affected areas within 72 hours.

    Hon’ble Union Home Minister has appreciated the commendable collective efforts made by the people of Gujarat amidst such a catastrophic natural disaster, which has ensured ongoing restoration-work for all services in affected Kachchh district while ensuring zero causality. Hon’ble Union Home Minister said that ‘Zero Casualty’ during the cyclone in Gujarat was a result of the farsighted and visionary approach of Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi. During the entire disaster management process, Ministry of Home Affairs was in constant touch with State Government and was providing all necessary support.

    He further said that, as soon as the cyclone warning came, Hon’ble Prime Minister personally monitored the situation closely, till late night and instructed entire administration to remain alert and vigilant. He added that under the constant guidance of Hon’ble Prime Minister Narendra Modi and with advance planning and preparations by the state government, the damage to human and animal lives and property has been minimized. He added that Hon’ble PM was in constant touch with the State Government and Govt. of India agencies 24×7 and was continuously monitoring the situation personally.

    In wake of the disaster alert, Gujarat government planned in advance and relocated vulnerable people, fishermen, salt-pan workers to safe locations. Fishing activities were prohibited, as per IMD warnings. Their belongings, boats were stationed at safe locations and various departments from the state government remained vigilant and prepared teams for the safety.

    Agencies from central government, 19 teams from NDRF and teams from Airforce, Army, Navy and Coast Guard also actively cooperated with the State Government.
    Hon’ble Minister conducted an aerial survey of the affected areas during the day and inquired about the well being of the people. He reviewed the rehabilitation work carried out by the agencies and gave necessary instructions to make speedy progress in restoration of primary services.

    The CM appraised the Home Minister on various steps taken by the State Government during this crisis. He said, “Due to advance planning and preparedness, the state was able to minimize loss of life and property during the cyclone. The state administration is working with the aim of ensuring a fast-paced recovery within 72 hours of the cyclone. We have successfully evacuated pregnant women, children, elderly and all vulnerable sections of population. At the same time, administration has also taken a series of steps to protect wildlife, especially the lions in Gir.”

    To ensure zero casualty in the state, steps were taken in advance by various departments of the state government. The Energy Distribution Company did preventive shutdown of transmission and distribution lines to prevent possible loss of life due to electrocution. District administration removed hoardings, ensured trimming of overhanging tree branches etc. in order to minimize possible causes of fatalities.

    Preparations and Steps taken by the Government

    • Since the news of the Biparjoy Cyclone hitting the coastal areas of Gujarat, Hon’ble Chief Minister repeatedly held monitoring and review meetings, at the State Emergency Operation Center in Gandhinagar, with senior officials of the government regarding the cyclone and instructed all district administration to be on standby.
    • Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi had conducted a high-level meeting on 12.6.23, in advance, to assess the evolving situation due to the cyclone in Gujarat. The PM had multiple telephonic discussions with the CM to obtain firsthand information related to the state’s preparations in the face of the cyclone.
    • Hon’ble Union Home Minister Shri Amit Shah interacted virtually on 13.6.23 with concerned officers from the Government of India, the Government of Gujarat, and district collectors to assure them of necessary support.
    • The Union Government assured complete support to Gujarat. They also sent Union ministers to oversee the rescue and rehabilitation measures in Gujarat.
    • Hon’ble CM also reviewed micro-arrangements for evacuation of people in various districts. Ministers of the State Government were stationed in affected districts from 12th June onwards to supervise relief, rescue and restoration efforts.
    • More than 1,08,208 people were evacuated to safer locations under the guidance of the Chief Minister. This included 10,919 children, 5070 elderly and 1206 pregnant women.
    • 869 salt pans were identified, mostly in Kutch and 6229 salt pan workers were evacuated to safer locations.
    • The state government also shifted around 73,000 cattle and livestock to safety, therefore, minimizing animal casualties.
    • Over the years, 76 permanent Multipurpose Cyclone Shelters (MPCS) were built by the state government to deal with such disasters. These MPCS were immensely useful for evacuating people to safer locations during the Biparjoy cyclone.
    • 19 NDRF teams were deployed in 9 coastal districts of Gujarat namely Kutch, Devbhoomi Dwarka, Jamnagar, Morbi, Porbandar, Gir Somnath, Junagadh, Rajkot and Valsad, and 1 at Diu (Union Territory).
    • 12 SDRF troops were stationed in 7 coastal districts (Kutch, Devbhoomi Dwarka, Jamnagar, Morbi, Porbandar, Gir Somnath, Junagadh) and Patan and Banaskantha. 1 SDRF troop was kept reserved in Surat.
    • The Chief Minister was continuously monitoring the evolving situation due to the cyclone and gave necessary instructions to the district administration from the control room. He got minute-to-minute details by holding comprehensive meetings with the Chief Secretary and senior secretaries of concerned departments of the state government.

    Informing Citizens through an Effective Communication Plan

    Even before the cyclone hit, the Government of Gujarat’s Information Department had sent Chief Minister’s voice message (OBD – Outbound Dialling) to 65 lakh mobile phone users in 6 potentially affected districts of the state from 13 June till date. The voice message contained details of the work done by the state government and safety measures to be taken. Similarly, the Chief Minister’s appeal to the public was broadcasted to around 65 lakh mobile holders, and five other such messages, including text messages before the cyclone, phone numbers of the control room in affected districts and television commercials via WhatsApp video messages were sent.

    The state government also issued a helpline number (079-232-51900). All 33 districts of the state were connected with the GSWAN telephone hotline. Ham radio stations were set up in Kutch, Jamnagar, Porbandar, Devbhoomi Dwarka, Morbi, and Rajkot districts, and mobile service providers like Jio, BSNL, Vodafone etc. were instructed to keep adequate power backup for communication.

    The Gujarat State Disaster Management Authority (GSDMA) also coordinated with the Information Department to broadcast ‘Do’s and Don’ts’ during the cyclone to citizens through TV commercials, radio, and newspaper advertisements.

    Gujarat Police used satellite phones and wireless networks to ensure uninterrupted communication. Wireless sets were put up at important locations like hospitals, evacuation centres etc.

    The efforts of state government have led to power restoration for mobile communication in Jamnagar and Junagadh. Of the 1260 affected communication towers, 974 towers’ restoration work is in progress.

    Efforts by the District Administration

    The in-charge ministers, secretaries as well as officials and employees of the district administration had successfully evacuated people to safer locations before the cyclone. The District administrations worked on a war footing to quickly restore damaged electricity, communication, water supply, and transport.
    *Preparedness by the Health Department

    1005 medical teams were operating in the potentially affected areas of the state during the cyclone. A total of 603 ambulances including 246 ‘108 ambulances’ and 357 government ambulances were dedicated to cater to the affected people. Apart from this, 3851 critical beds were also arranged in potentially affected areas. A total of 197 DG sets were provided in such areas.

    The state’s Health Department ensured complete provision of medicines and logistics in the affected areas. All hospitals in the affected districts were equipped with 100% diesel generators to ensure uninterrupted medical services.

    The department has also compiled a list of pregnant women in the affected areas, including their expected delivery dates, to facilitate timely and appropriate care. 1206 pregnant women were shifted to safer locations. There were 707 successful child births during the crisis.

    Restoration of Electricity in affected areas

    Paschim Gujarat Vij Company Limited (PGVCL), Uttar Gujarat Vij Company Limited (UGVCL) and GETCO under the Energy Department, had deployed 1133 teams with more than 7600 staff across 3,751 villages in the eight districts of Saurashtra, Kutch and North Gujarat with more than one lakh poles, and other material such as transformers, cables and conductors. The Gujarat Energy Transmission Corporation Limited (GETCO) had stationed teams at 714 substations. These teams were effective in minimizing power loss and electrocution in cyclone affected areas, thus saving lives.

    Out of total 3400 villages & towns which were without power, supply restored in 1600 villages & towns. Power supply has been fully restored in Junagadh and Porbandar districts. Power supply has been restored in major cities like Jamnagar, Bhuj, Mandvi, Mundra, Anjar and Gandhidham. Further, restoration of electricity in other parts of Kutch, will be completed in all urban and JGY feeders by day after tomorrow. Also, power supply is restored for waterworks, hospitals, and Government offices in all major parts of the state. Additional teams are being deployed for restoring power supply in urban areas and JGY Feeders by 19th June evening.

    Repairing of damaged roads by Roads and Buildings Department

    The Roads and Buildings Department had stationed 132 teams equipped with necessary things. These teams are working with 328 JCBs, 276 dumpers, 204 tractors, 60 loaders, and 234 other equipment to carry out repair work of affected roads. In addition, 7796 trees have been removed from 263 roads in the affected districts.

    Work done by the Urban Development Department

    As many as 4317 hoardings were removed from 8 districts likely to be affected as a precautionary measure to avoid loss of life and property due to heavy rains and winds because of the cyclone. Apart from that, work related to the restoration of affected electricity poles, damaged roads, power cut areas, and damaged houses is being done.

    Removal of uprooted trees by the Forest Department

    The state forest department had deployed 237 teams in the potentially affected districts to remove uprooted trees. These teams have removed a total of 3021 uprooted trees from the roads since the onset of the cyclone. 3,27,890 trees were trimmed to avoid any untoward incident due to high wind speed during the cyclone.

    Apart from this, the forest department also took necessary precautionary measures to protect the wildlife from the impact of Cyclone Biparjoy. A total of 184 teams were strategically positioned for rescue, rapid action and removal of fallen trees in the Asiatic Lion Zone. 13 operational teams and 6 special wildlife rescue teams with necessary equipment were also deployed in the Kutch sanctuary area.

    Co-ordination with Indian Meteorological Department

    The Gujarat Government was in constant touch with the officials of the Indian Meteorological Department and received up-to-date information about the trajectory of the cyclone.

    The state’s police force, under the Home Department, is also keeping a constant watch on the public order to maintain law and order.
    Support from Social and Voluntary Organisations

    A large number of social and voluntary organizations have cooperated with the state government in this crisis. They have provided food packets and necessary supplies to the affected, at large.

    Gujarat has faced several natural calamities from time to time. However, the state has always managed to emerge safely out of such a crisis. This time too, Gujarat and its people, with preparedness and timely actions, were successful in reducing the impact of cyclone Biparjoy. The state has, once again, provided an excellent example of disaster management.

    Source: Information Department, Gujarat