Cabinet okays anti-cyclone project, scheme

New Delhi, July 16 (IANS) The union cabinet on Thursday approved the revised cost estimates for phase-I of the national cyclone risk mitigation project (NCRMP) for Andhra Pradesh and Odisha as well as phase-II of a scheme to address vulnerability of coastal communities to cyclones.

The cabinet meeting, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, increased the cost of phase-I project by Rs.835 crore to Rs.2,331.71 crore from the earlier Rs.1,496.71 crore, an official release issued here said.The phase-II scheme to address vulnerability of coastal communities to cyclones is meant for Goa, Gujarat, Karnataka, Kerala, Maharashtra and West Bengal.

“This will address the vulnerability of the coastal communities to cyclones. This section of the population is generally poor and from the weaker sections of society,” it said.

“The central government will provide financial assistance of Rs.1,843.94 crore through a World Bank loan. The remaining Rs.487.77 crore will be contributed by the state governments of Andhra Pradesh and Odisha,” it added.

The project deadline has been extended from January 31, 2016, to March 31, 2018, to complete the construction of additional infrastructure.

In phase-II of the scheme, the central government will provide financial assistance of Rs.1,881.20 crore through a World Bank loan. The remaining amount of Rs.480.15 crore will be provided by the state governments concerned namely Goa, Gujarat, Karnataka, Kerala, Maharashtra and West Bengal.

The broad objectives of the project are to provide cyclone forecasting, tracking and warning systems, cyclone risk mitigation and capacity building in multi-hazard risk management.

The major infrastructure under construction would include multipurpose cyclone shelters — shelter-cum-warehouses and approach roads or bridges to habitations and embankments, including construction and renovation of saline embankments.

The proposed investments would strengthen coastal infrastructure for protection of coastal communities and their evacuation, greater accessibility, improved warning dissemination and quicker response.

The phase-I is expected to benefit 10.46 lakh people in Odisha and over 7.18 lakh in Andhra Pradesh.

The increased cost will cover the construction of additional infrastructure — 246 multipurpose cyclone shelters, 204 km roads and 15 bridges — for cyclone risk mitigation in these states, on the basis of the experience gained during the handling of cyclone Phailin in the two states in October 2013.

The investments in phase-II — to be implemented from 2015-16 to 2019-20 — would strengthen the coastal infrastructure for protection of different communities and their evacuation, greater accessibility, improved warning dissemination and quicker response.

The project is expected to benefit lakhs of people in Goa, Gujarat, Karnataka, Kerala, Maharashtra and West Bengal and help in the protection of land.

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