Suryakant Jena

Balasore: Union Minister of State for MSME, Pratap Sarangi and National Vice President of BJP, Baijayant Panda today conducted an aerial survey of Balasore and Bhadrak districts which were battered by very severe cyclonic storm Yaas on May 26. Both the leaders assessed the damages caused by the storm which made landfall near Bahanaga coast of the district with hostile winds of around 150 kmph and torrential downpour.

First, they toured the cyclone ravaged areas of Dhamra, Basudevpur in Bhadrak district before reviewing the post-cyclone situation in the Balasore district headquarters, Bahanaga, Baliapal and Bhogarai blocks in Balasore.

Till now, thousands of people of both the district are still under the clutches of marine water that was caused by the widespread sea ingression due to storm surge in the coastal belt.

Thereafter, both Panda and Sarangi touched down at the Chandipur Defence establishment and took stock of the damages incurred by the cyclonic storm. They drove to several cyclone shelters and distributed relief materials to affected people. Local residents while meeting with the leaders during the occasion leveled allegations on non-receipt of relief materials and pucca houses under Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana. Meanwhile, several boats of fishermen at Balaramgadi jetty in Balasore were found wrecked by the cyclone. 

Many people have been rendered homeless, acres of farmlands have been damaged due to storm surge which cannot be remedied soon enough. This apart, the drinking water woes are quite serious so I have attracted the attention of the district authorities and the Indian Navy for fast rehabilitation and provision of drinking water and shelter facilities for storm-affected people, Union Minister Pratap Sarangi told mediapersons.

Addressing newsmen, Panda said, "Like always, PM Modi has assured Odisha government to extend all help in this moment of crisis. So the administration should ensure that people are provided relief materials, financial assistance for housing and other aids as necessary on an immediate basis."

Taking to Twitter, Jay Panda reiterated the demand of the people to the State government for expediting PM Awas Yojana housing for the underprivileged.