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Gujarat’s Cyclone: Multi-Purpose Cyclone Shelters Ready To Save Lives

The Gujarat government, in partnership with the Centre and the World Bank, has constructed 76 multi-purpose cyclone shelters (MPCS) across its coastal districts. This initiative aims to protect people from natural disasters like cyclones, which frequently hit Gujarat’s 1,600 km-long coastline. These shelters are a key part of the state’s strategy to safely relocate residents […]

Gujarat’s Cyclone: Shelters Ready to Save Lives
Gujarat’s Cyclone: Shelters Ready to Save Lives

The Gujarat government, in partnership with the Centre and the World Bank, has constructed 76 multi-purpose cyclone shelters (MPCS) across its coastal districts. This initiative aims to protect people from natural disasters like cyclones, which frequently hit Gujarat’s 1,600 km-long coastline. These shelters are a key part of the state’s strategy to safely relocate residents from high-risk areas.

Protecting Lives During Cyclones

Cyclone Biparjoy struck the Kutch coast on June 15 last year, causing widespread damage but thankfully no fatalities. Similarly, Cyclone Tauktae caused significant destruction in the Saurashtra region in 2021. In both instances, the government successfully moved over one lakh people to safer places, such as primary schools, reducing the risk of casualties.

Shelter Locations and Facilities

The shelters are spread across various districts: Junagadh (25), Gir Somnath (29), Bharuch (5), Porbandar (4), Devbhumi Dwarka (4), Kutch (4), Amreli (2), and one each in Jamnagar, Navsari, and Ahmedabad. These shelters are equipped with community kitchens for fresh meals and medical teams for health checks.

In addition to these shelters, the government has identified 2,213 safe locations, such as schools and community halls, for use during emergencies. This is part of a comprehensive disaster management plan to ensure everyone has a safe place to go.

Wildlife Protection Measures

Gujarat is also focused on rescuing wildlife during cyclones. Special rescue teams are ready to protect animals, including the famous Gir lions, during such events. These teams operate in areas like Gir, Narayan Sarovar Sanctuary, and Barda. The plan involves 184 teams and 58 control rooms across nine divisions to ensure the safety of Asiatic lions and other vulnerable species.

Community Training and Volunteer Programs

Villagers are receiving training and resources to be well-prepared for disasters. The National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) launched the ‘Aapda Mitra’ scheme in 2016, aiming to train volunteers in disaster management. So far, 5,500 volunteers have been trained in 17 districts under this program.

The construction of these 76 cyclone shelters and the ongoing training and preparation efforts show Gujarat’s commitment to protecting its residents and wildlife. These measures are crucial in minimizing the impact of natural disasters and ensuring that everyone has a safe place to go when cyclones strike.

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