New Delhi: Congress on Monday appreciated the Armed forces, scientists and various other government agencies for tackling the situation arising out of Cyclone Phailin with "exemplary courage and efficiency."
"Congress congratulates and records its appreciation as well as gratitude towards Indian Armed forces, NDMA, NDRF, the IMD, scientists and various other government agencies. They had tackled the situation arising out of Cyclone Phailin with exemplary courage and efficiency", party General Secretary Ajay Maken said in a statement.
Maken, who heads the AICC Communication department, said these agencies along with the personnel of the Ministry of Railways, Surface Transport, Petroleum and Telecommunication, worked with a single minded focus on delivery.
"In first evaluating the impending threat of the unprecedented cyclone and then putting into place, systems, logistics and mechanisms that made it possible to mitigate and minimise the impact of the Cyclone, they had been successful," he said.
It was this effort, Maken said, that had minimised the casualties.
Elaborating further on the efforts of the various government agencies, Maken said in Orissa, 8.73 lakh people were evacuated and in Andhra Pradesh 1.35 lakh people had been evacuated.
He said the Central Government had deployed 18 army helicopters and 12 aircraft. Six relief columns of army with relief material had been sent to Odisha and 4 relief columns to Andhra Pradesh.
Besides, 2 Navy ships and 7 navy helicopters with relief material were kept on standby.
As many as 26 NDRF teams were deployed in Odisha, 19 in teams in Andhra Pradesh, 3 in West Bengal, 3 in Bihar and 2 in Jharkhand. 44 satellite phones had been given to officials in the affected areas, which helped unstinted communication during the worst phases of the cyclone.
Detailing the massive efforts, Maken said Food Corporation of India godowns have stocked sufficient advance stock for six months. As many as 50,000 tarpaulins and 100 tonnes of flattened rice have been sent to the affected areas.
Train services have now been restored from Puri to Howrah. The Bhubaneswar airport is also functional. 25 railway stations have been kept open for relief tasks, additional locomotives have also been kept on stand-by. Power ministry is sending experts team to look at restoring power lines in the affected areas.
He said the Central Government had asked all private telecom players to route signals via one tower, if needed. 26 vehicles to back up communication services have also been sent.
The Oil ministry had ensured that all categories of fuel, right from aviation fuel to kerosene oil was in abundant supply in all the affected areas, he added.