Odisha Current Affairs - 2019
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Odisha Government has launched an automatic public address system to warn citizens about cyclone and tsunami, floods.
- This is the first of its kind technology in field of Early Warning Dissemination System (EWDS) in India.
- The EWDS of Odisha government has been implemented under the assistance of World Bank with a cost of around 82 crores.
- Around 122 towers have been installed along the 480 km long coastline of the odisha state to produce sound and sirens during emergency situations.
- Sound producing from the towers can be heard in communities within a radius of 1.5 km.
- The button will be pressed from the state emergency centre in Bhubaneswar during an emergency situation.
- Six coastal districts named Balasore, Bhadrak, Jagatsinghpur, Kendrapara, Puri and Ganjam have been covered under the system.
- It’s a part of the last-mile connectivity programme under the National Cyclone Risk Mitigation Project an aimed at protecting people from the cyclone effects.
- The system will prove to be boon for the fisherman of the state.
Odisha and disasters
Odisha is vulnerable to many disasters. The state is prone to tropical cyclones, Storm surges and tsunamis. A large part of the state comes under Earthquake Risk Zone-II. The super-cyclone of 1999 which claimed 10,000 lives in Odisha. In 2013.Cyclone Phailin hit the Indian coasts. Cyclone Hudhud hit Odisha in 2014.Recently cyclone Titli hit odisha coast in 2018.
Disaster preparedness of Odisha
- The Odisha State Disaster Management Authority (OSDMA) was established in 1999.OSDMA was the first disaster management authority centre established in India.
- Odisha has active State Disaster Management Authority (SDMA).
- Odisha, has built close to 800 multipurpose cyclone and flood shelters in cyclone prone areas.
- All vulnerable regions in Odisha have active Cyclone Management Centres.
- Odisha Disaster Rapid Action Force (ODRAF) is a well known name in cyclone hit areas.
The continuous focus on developing manpower, skill, and infrastructure, state of Odisha has emerged as one of the most disaster-ready states in the world today
UN-backed fund Green Climate Fund (GCF) has approved US $43.4 million for enhancing climate resilience for millions of people living in India’s coastal communities as part of its efforts to combat extreme impacts of climate change. The grant is part of more than US $1 billion approved by 21st meeting of GCF Board held in Bahrain’s capital Manama for 19 new projects to help developing countries tackle climate change.
This GCF funded multi-dimensional project in India will focus on selected vulnerable areas of Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra and Odisha states. It will help to enhance resilience and adaptability and also lead to emissions reduction while providing support to local communities for their livelihoods.
This project will be supported through United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). The project activities will focus on restoration and conservation of over 15,000 hectares of mangroves, coral reefs, seagrasses and saltmarshes. Communities, including local youth, will be trained to work with scientists in monitoring ecosystem health and coastal ecology.
The innovative project will create online decision-support tool available via mobile phone for use by government officers, academic institutions, community members and scientists for strengthening climate risk-informed coastal management and infrastructure planning. The project will also build local knowledge of climate change and the associated risks via training and public education programmes.
Significance of project
It will help communities to establish more climate-resilient livelihoods, thus contribute to global efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions – over 3.5 million tonnes of CO2 will be absorbed through restored ecosystems. It will also have considerable long-term environmental benefits including healthier ecosystems, better biodiversity conservation and improved buffering against climate change-driven extreme weather. It will be also essential step for India in reaching its goals outlined in Paris Agreement and 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
India’s coastal areas are quite vulnerable to climate change. Its coastline is expected to be among regions most affected by climate change globally. Bay of Bengal and Arabian Sea are both predicted to be subject to extreme climate variability, with extreme weather events and frequency and intensity of cyclones projected to increase, particularly on eastern coastline. India has about 6,740 km2 of mangroves, including some of largest mangrove forests in the world. Mangrove cover along India’s coastline has decreased by 50% in some areas, largely because of human pressures, including alteration of flow of freshwater from upstream. Sea-level rise is predicted to result in further reductions.