The twin coastal districts of Karnataka will soon be equipped with better infrastructure to respond to cyclones and other natural disasters. Akin to cyclone shelters set up in Odisha, the Karnataka government has proposed to set up four cyclone shelters in the coastal region to deal with emergencies such as cyclones and other natural disasters.
As per this proposal, a cyclone shelter will come up in each coastal taluk in Udupi and Dakshina Kannada districts. One such shelter will be set up in Thekkatte in Kundapur taluk and another in Kaup in Udupi taluk in Udupi district. Similarly, two shelters will come up in Thokkottu and Surathkal in Mangaluru taluk, since the coastal area is larger in the taluk.
The main intention of the proposed shelters is to help the rescue operations when calamities occur along the coast, and offer shelter for the affected people.
The union government is supposed to provide 60 percent of the estimated cost while the state government will bear the remaining funds.
According to official sources, all necessary information such as number of villages situated along the coast and the population living in these villages will be compiled, before a definite plan is outlined for constructing the proposed shelters. The project includes setting up road connectivity including emergency roads to the shelters, which will assist in rescue and rehabilitation operations during emergencies and natural calamities.
Requirements of a cyclone shelter
The shelter should be able to house hundreds of stranded or affected residents from the region and also have basic facilities such as a multi-bed dormitory, a large kitchen, toilets and drinking water supply. It should provide mattresses for affected persons brought to the shelter and enough arrangements to feed them over a period of time.
During other times, the empty building can be used to conduct workshops, large discussions and classes by government schools.
For Dakshina Kannada district, a sum of Rs 35 crore has been allotted for emergency services during calamities occurring near the coastline including cyclones and sea erosion, of which the two cyclone shelters are also part of.
The other facilities under the package includes construction of necessary new roads in Suratkal, Bengre and Ullal, repair works on existing roads and construction of embankment walls to prevent sea erosion along the coast.
For Udupi district, the two cyclone shelters in Thekkatte and Kaup are proposed at an estimated cost of Rs 2 crore, according to officials. Among the two, the construction of a cyclone shelter has been inaugurated in Kuvempu Government Higher Primary School premises in Thekkatte.