The meeting to review the impact of Cyclone Tauktae held on 16 May 2021 was chaired by the Hon’ble Minister of Commerce & Industry, Mr Piyush Goyal. It saw presence of Hon’ble Minister of Ports Shipping & Waterways, Officials from IMD and representatives from State Governments of Goa, Gujarat and Maharashtra, in addition to national and local industry associations and senior industry members.
Dr M Mohapatra, DG, IMD made a presentation on the cyclone track and intensity, districts/regions that may experience heavy rains, winds and storm surge, likely damage and measures to mitigate damage. Various measures undertaken by various ports on the west coast to secure assets and mitigate impact were also revealed to members.
Some of the focus areas that emerged from the discussions in the meeting included ensuring the need for complete communication & power back-up, stock piling emergency materials, identifying cyclone path/ storm surge (using IMD’s detailed maps) to minimize damage and evacuating men and equipment in emergency situations.
Mr B Thiagarajan, Chairman, CII Western Region appreciated the Government of India and IMD’s initiative to interact and share useful information with the industry ahead of the Cyclone. He said that CII will share all important information with its members. While speaking about CII’s work on COVID management in the Western Region, he said that CII is committed to ensure that the work continues undisrupted even in the wake of a cyclone. He assured the government that CII is in touch with district administration in all districts especially the high-risk ones and is prepared to extend all possible support in case of any eventuality.
As the country and the states on the west coast in particular deal with the twin issue of COVID and the impending Cyclone, various suggestions also came in with respect to ensuring that industries located in high-risk areas, which are involved in production of chemicals, essentials, critical items (including for COVID) must be safeguarded. A suggestion was also made to states to ensure that hospitals have enough backup oxygen. Industry also sought government support in terms of facilitating smooth transportation and logistics to move emergency COVID-related materials including oxygen supplies via rail in case of any eventuality. Special request was made by Goa, which depends on other states for essentials/ Oxygen to ensure uninterrupted supply.
17 May 2021