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Mrunal Manmay Dash

The Opposition in Odisha targeted the State government on Thursday over its flood damage assessment report terming it as partial and faulty.

As the flood water receded slowly, the State government prepared a damage assessment report in order to provide compensation to the affected families and farmers.

As per the assessment report, 24 districts have been affected by the recent floods. A total of 14,235 houses are damaged, and 5,036 hactares farmland have been covered by sand. Similarly, at least 33 percent crop has been damaged in 1,26,162 hactares of farmland. To compensate all of it, the Odisha government has set aside a sum of Rs 128 crore.

However, following the damage assessment, the Opposition is up in arms alleging that the report does not justify the actual sufferings on the ground. They alleged that the report is faulty and demanded to reassess the damages incurred and release a white paper on the report.

Targeting the government, Congress MLA, Suresh Kumar Routray said, “This report is wrong. I demand reassessment of the damage by officials. The State government should immediately release a white paper on this issue.”

BJP leader Lekhashree Samantsinghar said, “The government should clarify who are it meant for; the actual beneficiaries or the BJD leaders and workers?”

“We demand the State government to publish beneficiary wise detailed report so that transparency is maintained in providing compensation to the affected households,” she said.

Replying to the demands, Odisha Disaster Management Minister, Pramila Mallik said, “There are villages still marooned in flood water. We can only reassess the flood damage only after situation normalizes completely.”

“We will have to consider the financial condition of the government before deciding on the date of disbursement,” she said.

15 days after flood ravaged the Balasore district, many villages under the Bhogorai block are still surrounded by water. At least 5000 villagers on four wards of Kulida Panchayat are still marooned. However, resentment has begun to brew after the administration included only four blocks of the district in the damage assessment report.

A farmer in Balasore’s Remuna, Niranjan Behera said, “We have suffered crop damages in the last three floods. Despite seeking repeated help, our panchayat is surprisingly missing from the compensation programme.”

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