The National Crisis Management Committee (NCMC) convened on Monday to assess the preparedness of the Gujarat government and central agencies for the impending Cyclone Biparjoy. During the meeting, chaired by Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba, the NCMC assured the state of all necessary assistance. An official statement advised fishermen against venturing into the sea and urged those already at sea to return to safe harbors.
As part of precautionary measures, a total of 21,000 boats have been secured, and a comprehensive list of vulnerable settlements has been compiled for evacuation purposes. The NCMC received an update from the director general of the India Meteorological Department on the status of the extremely severe cyclonic storm Biparjoy, which was located over the eastern Arabian Sea.
According to the statement, the cyclone is expected to move northward until Wednesday morning before making landfall between Mandvi, Gujarat, and Karachi, Pakistan, near Jakhau Port, Gujarat, by Thursday noon. By that time, it is projected to weaken to a very severe cyclonic storm with maximum sustained wind speeds of 125-150 kph.
The chief secretary of Gujarat provided an update on the preparatory measures being undertaken to protect the population in the anticipated path of the cyclonic storm. The local administration also shared information on the measures being implemented. Additionally, details of salt pan workers have been collected to facilitate their relocation to safe areas. Adequate shelters, power supply, medicine, and emergency services are being prepared.
To enhance response capabilities, ten teams of the State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) are being deployed. The National Disaster Response Force (NDRE) has already dispatched 12 teams, with three additional teams on standby in Gujarat. Furthermore, 15 teams, including five each in Arrakonam (Tamil Nadu), Mundli (Odisha), and Bathinda (Punjab), are on alert for possible airlifting at short notice. The Coast Guard, Army, and Navy, along with their respective ships and aircraft, are also on standby.
The statement emphasized that an adequate number of teams and assets from the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Coast Guard will be deployed to support the Gujarat government’s preparedness, rescue operations, and restoration efforts. Regular alerts and advisories are being communicated to the maritime board and all relevant stakeholders by the DG, Shipping.
The monitoring of offshore oil fields is being conducted diligently, and offshore installations in Gujarat have been instructed to ensure the immediate return of all deployed personnel. Major ports such as Kandla and Mundra have been put on high alert, with other ports advised to take preventive action.
During the review, Cabinet Secretary Gauba stressed the importance of preventive and precautionary measures to be undertaken by the relevant authorities. The primary objective is to prevent loss of life and minimize damage to property and critical infrastructure, including power and telecommunications. If such infrastructure is affected, Gauba emphasized the need for swift restoration.
Gauba further directed that fishermen at sea be called back and ensured that people from vulnerable areas are evacuated well in advance of the cyclone’s landfall. He assured the Gujarat government that all central agencies are prepared and available to assist.
The meeting was attended by the Union Home Secretary, Railway Board Chairman, CEO, and secretaries from ministries including Civil Aviation, Power, Ports, Shipping, and Waterways, among others.
Overall, the NCMC’s review highlighted the proactive measures being taken by the Gujarat government and central agencies to mitigate the potential impact of Cyclone Biparjoy. Through coordinated efforts and effective communication, the aim is to safeguard lives and minimize damage, with prompt restoration of essential services in case of any disruptions.