Shyama Prasad Mookerjee Port (SMP), formerly Kolkata Port Trust, is monitoring the situation in view of the forecast of severe cyclonic storm Asani, and taking preparatory measures to avoid loss of human lives, vessels and other properties, SMP chairman Vinit Kumar said on Tuesday.

The port authorities asked officials to ensure all its vessels are inside the dock before the onset of the cyclonic storm and no ships are kept at river jetties.

Control rooms at Kolkata Dock System (KDS) and Haldia Dock Complex (HDC) have been set up.

Kumar said, “We are continuously monitoring the situation and will stop our operations at the proper time if needed. Control rooms at KDS and HDC are being manned by senior officers since May 9. Tugboats and launches will be available for any emergency.”

The chairman held a meeting with deputy chairman of the port and officials of various departments to check the arrangements.

The authorities have hired and installed generator sets at strategic locations and will keep payloaders ready for any exigency, officials said.

The port has also asked officials to make sure that frontline workers, with hydraulic ladder, diesel or battery- operated saw and other equipment, are stationed at various locations.

Central Industrial Security Force personnel and security staffers have also been urged to patrol the port areas to send information to the control rooms, the official added.

WEATHER UPDATE

Several parts of Odisha and West Bengal are bracing for heavy rain as severe Cyclone Asani weakened to a cyclonic storm on Wednesday, barreling towards north coastal Andhra Pradesh, packing wind speed of 85 km per hour, the Met Department said. The weather system is likely to further lose steam and turn into a depression by Thursday morning, it said.

It is very likely to move nearly northwards for next few hour and recurve slowly north-northeastwards along Narsapur, Yanam, Kakinada, Tuni and Visakhapatnam coasts during noon to evening on Wednesday, and emerge into west central Bay of Bengal off North Andhra Pradesh coasts by night, the India Meteorological Department said in a bulletin.

Of the 50 teams, 22 have been deployed on the ground in West Bengal, Odisha and Andhra Pradesh, while the remaining 28 have been asked to be on alert within these states, an NDRF spokesperson said. Meanwhile, the weather office in Kolkata said the system is likely to cause light to moderate rain in the districts of Gangetic West Bengal.

“Heavy rainfall is likely at one or two places over Purba and Paschim Medinipur, North and South 24 Parganas and Nadia districts of Gangetic West Bengal till Thursday morning,” it said.

Kolkata recorded 44.8 mm of rainfall in the past 24 hours till 8.30 am, the Met Department said.

With inputs from PTI

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