Governor writes to PM for central assistance
Bhubaneswar: Odisha Governor SC Jamir on Friday urged Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for immediate release of central assistance to the calamity-ravaged state.
In a letter to the PM, Jamir requested to grant Rs 4224.41 cr and Rs 1590.09 crore in two phases as mentioned by the state government in its two separate memorandums to the Centre, to expedite the relief and restoration activities, an official statement said.
Jamir further stressed on the early release of funds taking into consideration the recent four-day visit of the inter-ministerial central team which toured the flood-cyclone hit districts of Ganjam, Puri, Balasore and Mayurbhanj on October 28.
The Governor's letter to the PM came a day after the state Cabinet decided to increase the corpus of the Odisha Contingency Fund (OCF) from Rs 400 crore to Rs 1900 crore.
Two days back, a delegation of MLAs and Ministers in the ruling party had submitted a memorandum to President Pranab Mukherjee through Jamir alleging neglect by the Centre in providing assistance to calamity-hit Odisha. The Governor's office had forwarded the same to the President regarding the state's demand for availing central assistance in the aftermath of cyclone and subsequent floods.
The BJD, accusing the Centre of neglecting the state even during the natural calamities, urged the President to direct the Union government to release the demanded funds for the restoration and renovation of infrastructure for people affected in cyclone Phailin and resultant floods.
"18 districts have been affected following the twin calamities. The state government has submitted a demand of more than Rs 5,800 crore. However, the Centre is yet to grant any funds. Besides, no Union minister including the Prime Minister visited the calamity-hit state," state revenue and disaster management minister S N Patro had alleged.
"While the Centre announced assistance for Uttarakhand barely two days after the calamity in that state, Odisha has not received a single rupee even after 25 days," he had said.
He pointed out that the Union Home Secretary and an inter-ministerial central team have already visited the devastated areas of Odisha. "But, we have not received anything. Is not it discrimination?" Patro asked, adding that in a federal structure, the Centre should treat all states at par.