New Delhi, May 16 (PTI) The National Crisis Management Committee (NCMC) headed by Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba met on Sunday, where the top bureaucrat of the country directed agencies to ensure 'uninterrupted' functioning of the COVID hospitals in the states affected by the impending Cyclone Tauktae and secure 'zero loss' of lives.
Officers from various central agencies, the chief secretaries of Gujarat, Maharashtra, Goa, Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu and the administrators of the Union territories of Lakshadweep, Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu took part in the meeting, a statement issued by the government said.
The NCMC met to review the preparedness of the central and state agencies to deal with the cyclonic storm that is expected to reach the Gujarat coast in the morning of May 18 with wind speeds ranging from 150-160 km per hour, accompanied by heavy rainfall and storm surge, it said.
Reviewing the preparedness of the central and state agencies, Gauba stressed that all measures be taken to evacuate people in the areas affected by the cyclone so as to ensure zero loss of life and damage.
'All steps are to be taken to avoid disruption of functioning of hospitals and COVID-19 centres and maintenance of regular supply of oxygen to patients,' the statement quoted him as saying.
Necessary arrangements have been made in this context, it added.
India is witnessing the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic currently.
The cabinet secretary directed the agencies concerned to work in close co-ordination and extend all requisite assistance to the affected states.
'Preparatory arrangements to restore power, telecom and other important services should be ensured,' he said.
The statement said the chief secretaries of the states apprised the NCMC of the measures put in place to deal with the cyclonic storm.
'Adequate stock of foodgrains, drinking water and other essential supplies have been arranged and preparations made to maintain essential services such as power, telecommunications etc.,' they said.
The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) informed the meeting that a total of 101 teams have been earmarked to tackle the cyclone.
While 79 teams have been deployed, 22 have been kept ready, it said.
'Rescue and relief teams of the Army, Navy and Coast Guard, along with ships and aircraft, have also been deployed,' the statement said.
The secretaries of various central ministries such as home, power, shipping, telecom, civil aviation, fisheries, the Railway Board chairman, the NDMA member secretary, the chief of the Integrated Defence Staff (IDS) and the directors general of the India Meteorological Department (IMD) and the NDRF also attended the meeting, it added. PTI NES RC