Srikakulam: The Srikakulam district administration had organised 120 shelters across the district to accommodate thousands of people from the coastal areas ahead of cyclone Fani striking Odisha.
While many people moved in, others stubbornly held out and refused to go to the shelters.
The shelters were equipped with diesel generators even as power was shut down all over the district as a precautionary measure. Food was supplied and medicines kept ready.
Despite all these, some of the villages have decided to stay back in their own houses keeping in mind about the previous experiences in the cyclone shelters. Pedda Kapasukudhi under Kaviti mandal, just 150 metres from the shore, has a population of about 4,000 people and none of them went to the shelters. The officials had a similar experience with the village during cyclone Titli in October last year.
When officials asked the residents of Pedda Kapasukudhi to move to safety, they shot back that even cyclone Titli, which had its landfall at Srikakulam, had not affected them.
Mr S. Kranthi a fisherman from the village, said, “Staying in a cyclone shelter is a curse. When we have gone there once, they didn’t even supply milk for the children. The quality of the food is bad. Hundreds of people will be asked to sleep in a room which can accommodate only 50. After that, we decided not to go to a cyclone shelter ever again.”
Speaking to Deccan Chronicle, collector J. Nivas said, “We have organised 120 cyclone rehabilitation centres and evacuated 15,400 people. Very few villages turned down our request. But, we are bothered about their safety. It is not possible to provide them with a comfortable atmosphere in the shelter but they are safe. Anyhow, we are happy that there is no human loss this time.”...