The civic authorities in Calcutta and its neighbouring cities have identified schools, clubs and community halls as temporary shelters for people living in dilapidated buildings or on pavements to protect them from the effects of Cyclone Amphan.
The Met department has said winds clocking 100kmph are likely to blow across Calcutta after Amphan hits south Bengal as an “extremely severe cyclonic storm” between Wednesday afternoon and evening.
The civic authorities in Calcutta, Howrah, Bidhannagar and New Town have kept their personnel on alert to ensure quick removal of uprooted trees from roads and unclogging of drains.
Firhad Hakim, the chairman of the Calcutta Municipal Corporation’s board of administrators, reviewed the preparations with officials on Monday.
“We will conduct mic campaigns on Tuesday urging people who live in dilapidated structures to move to shelters. We have identified community halls, clubs and schools as shelters,” said a CMC official. “We will also urge people living on pavements to shift.”
He said more than 200 CMC schools and over 100 community halls could be used as shelters. People in the shelters will be asked to maintain physical distancing and wear masks.
Another CMC official said 16 teams, one in each borough, would be deployed to remove branches and uprooted trees from roads. Besides, there will be two central teams.
The New Town Kolkata Development Authority, too, has kept teams ready to clear roads of uprooted trees. Officials have checked all pumps in the storm water drainage pumping stations and a number of extra pumps have been kept as back-up.
The Bidhannagar Municipal Corporation has opened a disaster management cell. There, too, removing branches will be a priority. Special teams will be deployed at all borough offices and pumping stations in Salt Lake, Kestopur and Rajarhat.
Several schools in Salt Lake, Rajarhat, Baguiati and Kestopur have been earmarked as storm shelters. A Howrah Municipal Corporation official said people can reach out to them via their Twitter handle and Facebook page.