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BHUBANESWAR : Ahead of the severe cyclonic storm Yaas hitting Odisha coast on Wednesday morning, the Tata Power has already kept about 15,000 workforce ready to start electricity restoration activities in the state as soon as the calamity recedes, an official said.

TP Northern Odisha Distribution Limited (TPNODL) and TP Western Odisha Distribution Ltd (TPWODL) have a detailed Business Continuity and Disaster Management Plan (BCDMP) in place for dealing with the cyclone, the official said.

The company in consultation with the state government, has already deployed 13,500 people including engineers and kept another 1,500 workforce in reserve for undertaking the restoration works immediately after the cyclone.

Keeping in view the engagement of such a huge number of people in the power restoration works, Odisha Health and Family Welfare department in a letter to district collectors said that all the people must undergo rapid antigen tests for detection of COVID-19. The workforce include people from other states also.

"The electricity distribution network is likely to suffer heavy damage due to heavy wind speed of the cyclone. About 10,000 to 12,000 manpower have been mobilised by TPCODL and TPNDOL for post cyclone restoration of electricity distribution network. It is necessary to prevent COVID infection among these workmen so that the restoration work goes on smoothly," Additional Chief Secretary, Health and Family Welfare Department, P K Mohapatra said in the letter to the district collectors.

"You are, therefore, instructed to arrange for Rapid Antigen Testing (RAT) of the workmen deployed at the restoration sites/ labour camps within your jurisdiction on priority basis," Mohapatra told the district collectors.

The BCDMP entails categories of disasters based on the severity along with a corresponding action plan, a Disaster Management Structure to systematically receive alerts for disasters, examine them, send pre disaster alerts and devise mechanism for invoking and revoking BCDMP.

Understanding the need of the hour, Tata Power has formed dedicated teams to ensure 24x7 power supply to oxygen plants. It has also strategically placed dedicated quick response teams at various locations across the licensed areas.

"One can call our 24x7 call centre toll free number 1800-345-6718 or 7682036516 for any emergency service in northern zone," an official said.

Bhaskar Sarkar, CEO, TPNODL said, "Keeping the IMD's prediction in mind, we have taken all the necessary measures and aim to ensure uninterrupted power supply, especially in these testing times of COVID-19. Our team is working relentlessly to ensure uninterrupted power supply. We would also like to appeal to the public to adhere to all the essential safety measures to avoid any accidents during this storm Yaas".

The company has also carried out all the preventive maintenance of equipment at both distribution as well as consumer sub-stations. Dedicated teams have been strategically placed at various places to cater to any emergency, he said, adding that adequate stock of essential spare parts, tools and equipment including transformers, switchgear, etc, has been ensured to minimize the restoration time towards power interruptions.

Special teams will be operative for making the power supply to hospitals and oxygen plants, the CEO said.

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