When cyclone Fani barrelled through the coastal region in Odisha on May 3, it uprooted trees, flattened huts and killed at least 34 people.
But amid this mayhem, at least a thousand people were safe in shelters designed by IIT Kharagpur (IIT-Kgp) in 2004, said the institute in a statement. These structures along the Odisha coast withstood winds gusting up to 200 km per hour. They are two-storey concrete buildings with economically viable ‘crab-like’ designs.
The Odisha State Disaster Mitigation Authority (OSDMA), a constituent of the state government, had built the structures in association with IIT-Kgp.
Director Prof Partha Pratim Chakrabarti recalled the implementation of the project more than a decade ago when he was Dean of Sponsored Research and Industrial Consultancy.
“It was Prof G C Mitra and current Deputy Director Prof Sriman Kumar Bhattacharyya who led the project. IIT Kharagpur is proud to have implemented this project. People’s blessings have been the highest reward. May we get more such opportunities and have more selfless, capable people like Prof Mitra and Prof Bhattacharyya,” Prof Chakrabarti said.
The project was funded by the Prime Minister’s Office.
“I am extremely happy to note that the cyclone shelters have saved the lives of a large number of people during the devastating cyclone Fani. These kinds of works that are carried out by IIT Kharagpur give us immense satisfaction. As one of the investigators in-charge along with my colleague and a renowned engineer Prof Gopal Chandra Mitra, I take pride in my association with such a project,” said Prof Sriman Kumar Bhattacharyya, Deputy Director of IIT Kharagpur.