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Dilip Kumar

Puri: Even as two years have elapsed since the extremely severe cyclonic storm ‘Fani’ left a trail a of destruction in several coastal areas of Odisha especially Puri district where the intense storm made the landfall, people who were the worst victims of the disaster are still reeling under utter misery due to government apathy.

Residents of several areas in Brahmagiri and Krushnaprasad blocks of the district are still living in makeshift huts covered with polythene sheets. Government’s tall claim of ‘pucca houses for all’ seems to have fallen flat here, locals alleged.

It may be recalled here how the eye of the devastating cyclone rendered thousands homeless while passing through the district. In the aftermath of the disaster, the government had assured financial assistance shelter under State-run housing schemes as well as livelihood opportunities. However, it has done precious little for the development of the cyclone survivors, the locals rued.

Victims said they still await compensation announced by the government.

“I had a small hut which was blown away in the Fani Cyclone. Till now, I have not been provided with a house to take shelter during rain, winter and summer. My family depends on my daily wage. I cannot afford to construct a pucca house,” Dhani Padhan, a cyclone victim said.

“Thousands of cyclone victims in Brahmagiri and Puri areas are still taking shelter under polythene and open sky. It seems government has lack of interest to pay attention to the plights of the poor. Two years have passed since the cyclone, but still people are struggling to get a house under government scheme,” said Bhimasen Swain, secretary, Fani victims’ association.

Brahmagiri Tehsildar Kanhu Charan Ghadai however clarified that “Out of total 42, 296 beneficiaries, we have provided Fani assistance to 39892. An amount of over Rs 132 crore has been distributed to the victims. Others who have been left out will get their compensation soon in next phase.”

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