The state of Odisha is still reeling under the devastating effects of Cyclone ‘Fani’ that hit coastal Odisha on 3 May 2019. The cyclone that made landfall near Puri and made headlines for its extreme fury, has left behind a trail of severe destruction that will take months to be restored. Against the backdrop of insurmountable suffering and extreme distress, ONGC has taken a step forward to fulfill its obligations as a responsible corporate citizen by organizing relief efforts in the most severely hit Blocks of Puri District. Under the guidance of CMD Mr. Shashi Shanker and Director (Exploration) Mr. A.K. Dwivedi, the MBA Basin has taken up a lead role in reaching out to the severely affected people in ground zero.
Post the devastating cyclone, contact was established with Bhubaneswar Office for first hand damage assessment. Once the extent of destruction was clear, a Control Room, headed by ED-Basin Manager Mr. Sribatsa Kumar Das, was immediately set up. Based on the mandate from ED- Basin Manager, a robust Action Plan was rolled-out based on damage assessment.
Support Manager Mr. H.K. Sethi and I/C CSR, Mr. Shivaji Sengupta took up the cudgels to immediately identify the organizations having the requisite infrastructure to arrange bulk relief supplies for Odisha. Anticipating the lack of local infrastructure in cyclone hit Odisha, substantial relief supplies were dispatched to Odisha from Kolkata with the prompt support of In-charge Logistics, Mr. S.K.Pradhan
A Forward Response Team of Kolkata comprising SE(I) Mr. Abhishek Jena, MMO Mr. Subhasis Majumdar, HRE Mr. Pabitra Kar and AG-1 Mr. Srikumar Das joined and Officiating-I/C Bhubaneswar Office, Dr. P.K. Das and GM(Chem), Mr. Ch.B.Misra to augment and engineer the Action Plan. The Team immediately mobilized resources to reach out to remote villages in the identified Panchayats that had borne the severe brunt of the rampaging Cyclone ‘Fani’. ONGC Field Medical Officer, Dr. Sanjay Misra, was also stationed in Puri Town along with medical supplies to attend to victims in and around the area. DGM (Medical Services), Dr. Alka Gupta and ACMO, Dr. Atin Mandal played a pivotal role in the early procurement and dispatch of medical supplies to Puri and Bhubaneswar.
ED-Basin Manager also joined the Forward Response Team in ground zero. His decisive leadership and presence in the field proved to be a huge morale booster to the Team as well as associated NGOs. The Team reached out to the remote villages in Pipili and Nimapara Blocks and distributed tarpaulins, ropes, candles etc. for immediate relief to the victims. The saga of extreme suffering and enormous loss that unraveled during the relief efforts was truly unnerving. The havoc wreaked by Cyclone ‘Fani’ had left people without food, shelter and livelihood. Some Panchayats even required complete re-electrification.
Relief efforts have further been scaled up in association with Utkal Bipanna Sahayata Samiti (UBSS), an organization that is coordinating relief efforts by Oil PSUs, under the aegis of MoPNG. MBA Basin is committed to provide tarpaulins, dry food, sanitary cloth, first aid, solar lanterns etc. to at least twenty thousand beneficiaries through UBSS. In addition to this, hot meals, twice a day, will be served to three thousand people for at least eight days through the associated NGOs. The support extended to the local management at this crucial juncture by I/C Finance Mrs. Anuradha Chadhuri and I/C HR-ER Mr. A.K.Baxla is worth mentioning.
The time worthy relief drive by ONGC has been recognized and appreciated by the local media. However, the enormity of the catastrophe warrants and long-term rehabilitation plans in addition to the assistance already extended to provide immediate relief. Sustained efforts through multiple structured philanthropic initiatives will continue in the coming months to rebuild the lost infrastructure and gradually usher normalcy in the region. The top management of ONGC has already stated its unflinching commitment to the cause.
The heavy wreckage in the once bustling Temple Town is a grim reminder of the helplessness of humankind in front of the wrath and fury of nature. Amidst the unprecedented devastation, the abode of Lord Jagannath stands towering giving hope and belief to millions.