Bhubaneswar: Raising question over the State government's claims of smooth management of cyclone ‘Yaas’, the Odisha unit of BJP on Thursday alleged that the Revenue and Disaster Management department had not prepared itself, as required, much before the storm hit the coast.
At a press meet, senior BJP leader and former Revenue Minister Manmohan Samal alleged that hundreds of people in Balasore and Bhadrak districts are still marooned even a week after the very severe cyclonic storm that left a trail of destruction in the northern parts of the State.
"Many people are still marooned. Electricity supply is yet to be restored in several areas. Assessment on the houses damaged in the calamity has not yet been initiated as the Revenue Inspectors (RIs) have not yet visited the worst hit areas. No measures have been taken for the repair of the damaged roads," he alleged.
Demanding a clarification on the matter, Samal suggested the government to convert the kutcha houses into pucca one at the earliest.
"The Prime Minister had sanctioned more than 8 lakh pucca houses under the rural housing scheme. The State Government should convert all the kutcha houses into permanent buildings in the cyclone-prone areas," the BJP leader demanded.
Samal also demanded early payment of compensation to the farmers who bore the maximum brunt of the cyclone.
Compensation for damaged houses should be paid to the affected within two weeks. Similarly, the government should waive off the farm loan in the cyclone-hit regions and sanction loans at low rate of interest to the prawn farmers to compensate their losses, he demanded.
He further alleged that the evacuation figures have been manipulated. The evacuees were not served cooked food at many cyclone shelters during the cyclone time, the senior leader alleged.
The House Committee of Odisha Assembly had made some recommendations in 2008 based on which the State government should take immediate steps for renovation of all drainages and sluice gates, he maintained.
The Government should make a public announcement and fix a date by which the payment of compensation should be over, Samal said.