PK Jena, Special Relief Commissioner & MD of OSDMA
A bureaucrat for all seasons, PK Jena(Disarming Disasters) has shown an exemplary knack to tame disasters of all stripes. In him, Odisha has found a ‘Bahubali’ to disarm all disasters. Jena has been in the thick of the action as the state administration has intensified efforts to checkmate ‘Covid-19’, a deadly contagion originating in China and spreading seamlessly across borders to infect people in over 190 countries.
Flagging concerns about the potential risk posed by inbound migrant workers, Jena(Disarming Disasters) alerted collectors of all districts. He has counselled that such suspected cases of Covid-19 virus may be kept under home isolation.
Jena has also announced a war chest of Rs 225 crore drawn from the State Disaster Response Fund to tackle Covid-19. The proceeds of the fund will be used for quarantine, sample collection and screening.
Also, a portion of the funds will be provisioned for creating temporary accommodation as well as food and medical care for people sheltered in quarantine camps and cluster containment operations.
The state government will also use the funds for other emergency measures such as setting up of additional testing laboratories and procurement of essential equipment and personal protective gears.
Recently, Jena(Disarming Disasters) wrote to district collectors to implement ‘Heat Wave Plan’ as heatwave conditions may compound challenges for containing the spread of Coronavirus.
The maximum temperatures have gone up sharply in the past two days, and the MeT department has forecast heatwave conditions.
Odisha State Disaster Management Authority (OSDMA) Managing Director PK Jena(Disarming Disasters) has written to the district Collectors to put Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) in place for implementing the heat action plan.
“Aware of your preoccupation in the grave situation, still I request you to immediately hold regular virtual review meetings at district, sub-divisional and block levels to put in place the SOPs for the heat action plan. Otherwise, this natural hazard may unnecessarily compound our challenge in containing COVID-19,” Jena stated in the letter.
Wedded to the cause of tackling disaster, Jena is spearheading efforts to make all 328 vulnerable coastal villages ‘tsunami ready’.
Two villages- Baxipali in Ganjam and Gadaharishpur of Jagatsinghpur district are set to earn the ‘tsunami ready’ tag. Both villages have qualified all the 11 parameters and are slated to get the UNICEF certificate soon.
“These two villages would be the first tsunami ready villages among 56 nations in the Indian Ocean region”, said PK Jena(Disarming Disasters), additional chief secretary, rural development and managing director at Odisha State Disaster Management Authority (OSDMA).
The state government is building capacities in all the 328 tsunami-prone villages.