"The state government is taking all possible steps to combat any natural calamity during the monsoon season. All the concerned have been asked to stay prepared for any contingency and take necessary steps," Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said after the state-level natural disaster preparedness meeting.

The Government is fully prepared to face possible drought and flood situations, Patnaik told reporters.

Stating that the state experienced multiple natural calamities including the very severe cyclonic storm "Phailin" last year, Patnaik said the government has been successful in managing the disaster with the cooperation of the people.

As the IMD has predicted deficient rainfall during the Monsoon—2014, Patnaik said "to meet such a situation,
Departments of Agriculture, Water Resources, Housing and Urban Development, Rural Development, Panchayati Raj, Cooperation and other concerned departments should prepare an appropriate contingency plan in a week's time."
    
Patnaik further pointed out that despite a possible deficient rainfall situation, floods cannot be totally ruled out.

"We have to remain in full preparedness to face any situation including floods,” he said adding in the event of flood, it is the state's responsibility to reach out to the affected people and provide due assistance at the earliest.
    
Water Resources Department should ensure closing of all past breaches and it should also store adequate materials near weak and vulnerable points on river embankments, and make watch and ward arrangements during flood, he said.
    
The meeting was attended by ministers of different departments, leader of opposition, chief secretary, secretaries, MLAs and MPs.

The MLAs from the flood prone areas drew attention of the government towards lacunae in their respective segments.

(Agencies)

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