Mumbai, May 16 (PTI) Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Sunday said an alert has been sounded in coastal districts of the state in the wake of cyclone Tauktae, and the state administration has braced up to ensure uninterrupted electricity and oxygen supply in COVID-19 hospitals.
Thackeray gave the assurance to Union Home Minister Amit Shah during a virtual meeting in the morning on the preparedness for tackling the cyclonic storm.
According to the India Meteorological Department (IMD), cyclone Tauktae has intensified into a 'very severe cyclonic storm' and is approaching the Gujarat coast.
The IMD has forecast high speed winds along and off south Maharashtra-Goa and adjoining Karnataka coasts over the next couple of days.
During the meeting, Thackeray said jumbo COVID-19 centres and other facilities can protect patients from rain.
But, in view of the cyclonic storm, some patientsfrom Mumbai and other areas have been shifted to safer places.
He said all steps have been taken to ensureoxygen production plants on the coastline and transport of oxygen to rest of the state remain unaffected.
Thackeray also informed that residents along the coastline have been moved to safer places and disaster management units have been activated.
Collectors of Sindhudurg, Ratnagiri, Raigad and Palghar districts and Mumbai municipal commissioner have been instructed to ensure that the oxygen production plants of 900 metric tonne capacity along the sea coast are safe, he said.
Officials of the electricity and public works departments are also on alert, the CM said.
He said arrangements have been made to ensure 12 to 16-hour oxygen backup in districts to be affected by the cyclonic storm.
'A total of 160 metric tonne of oxygen is expected to reach Maharashtra from Jamnagar in Gujarat by Monday. If there are problems in the Jamnagar plant due to the cyclone, arrangements have been made to get the additional stock from other places,' he said.
Thackeray said fishermen were also returning to the coast from the sea.
He also informed the Union minister that the state has adequate stock of medicines. PTI MR GK GK