Odisha rejects centre’s data on zero natural calamities

Bhubaneswar: The State government today expressed displeasure over no mention of Odisha in the list of 14 States identified to have been affected by natural calamities.

In reply to a question raised by BJD MP Ram Chandra Hansdah, Union Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju in Lok Sabha on Wednesday mentioned that 14 States, excluding Odisha were hit by calamities in 2017.

According to sources, the State government had informed the Centre on November 9, 2017 about drought and submitted a 224-page report. Later, the State had demanded a compensation of Rs 1,721 crore for crop loss on account of pest attack and drought.

“The Centre neither responded to the letters sent by the State nor gave a proper reply in Parliament when crop loss issue was raised,” said Odisha Agriculture Minister, Pradeep Maharathy, adding that the Union Agriculture Minister forgets the issue of farmers of Odisha when he returns back to New Delhi.

Union Minister of State for Agriculture Gajendra Singh Shekhawat had visited the State in November and assessed crop loss.

Putting the blame on the State government, BJP State vice president Samir Mohanty said, “The Union agriculture minister has not forgotten anything. Instead the State government has failed to submit proper documents before the Agriculture Ministry on time.”