In a novel initiative, the Andhra Pradesh Government has decided to hand over the newly constructed Multi-Purpose Cyclone Shelters (MPCS) to local communities to ensure better management and maintenance.
This is to facilitate effective use of these shelters so that local communities like fishermen are equipped and involved in dealing with disasters like cyclones which hit coastal regions frequently, official sources said here.
Accordingly, the process of construction of shelters and handing over their management and maintenance to local communities is underway, State Disaster Management Commissioner T Radha said.
The Centre had earlier drawn up the National Cyclone Risk Mitigation Project (NCRMP) to be implemented in 13 coastal and island States/ Union Territories, including Andhra Pradesh, with the financial assistance of World Bank.
The project in Andhra involves construction of MPCS among others and the Centre had sanctioned 143 MPCS to be constructed in nine coastal districts of the state, sources said.
As 1,142 cyclone shelters built earlier were found to be in a dilapidated condition, unfit for human habitation, due to lack of management and maintenance, the State Government proposed to have Community-based Cyclone Shelter Management, Maintenance Welfare Committees (CSMMWC), as suggested by the World Bank.
The CSMMWCs set up in Orissa have been found to be working efficiently and the Andhra Pradesh Government has sent officials to Orissa to study their functioning.
The cyclone shelters would serve multiple purposes to local residents in normal times in the form of classrooms for schools, community centres for functions on a rental basis, ‘Aanganwadi’ centres and artisan complexes, an integrated service delivery centre for activities like training programmes, health camps, welfare hostels and also disaster preparedness centres.
The State Government recently issued a Government Order (GO) directing the Collectors of nine coastal districts to form CSMMWCs and the GO includes the by-laws and Memorandum of Association for formation of CSMMWC.