Bhubaneswar: Continuing with his attack on CM Naveen Patnaik, Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan slammed Odisha government for not creating adequate awareness among people of Gajapati district which bore the brunt of the very severe cylonic storm ‘Titli’ earlier this month.
In a short video message shared on Facebook on Friday, the union minister alleged that the Odisha government is behaving like a ‘sahukar’ (money lender) and is trying to shrug off its responsibility by announcing an ex-gratia of Rs 10 lakh for the family of the deceased killed in Cyclone Titli and subsequent floods.
“It is unfortunate the way one Odisha minister stated that the government has increased the compensation amount from Rs 4 lakh to Rs 10 lakh. Is this our sensitivity towards the plight of people killed in such calamity?” questioned Pradhan in the video.
Citing the Gajapati incident where a man had to carry the body of his minor daughter on his shoulders to conduct her post mortem, Pradhan stated that bodies of people are still being recovered even after one week of the disaster but neither administrative officials nor ministers are present in the affected districts.
Pradhan also slammed the ‘zero casualty’ claim and said that state government officials were busy in self-propaganda by making plans sitting in Bhubaneswar.
“Andhra Pradesh CM N. Chandrababu Naidu himself is present and supervising things at a relief camp on ground zero at Srikakulam. But no political leaders including ministers or administrative officials were seen in Gajapati district,” said Pradhan.
Pradhan further urged Odisha government and other political parties to come forward to speed up relief and rehabilitation measures in the cyclone Titli-affected districts in the State.
Responding to Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan’s allegations, senior BJD leader Arun Sahoo said "For those who are actual ‘Sahukars’, the entire world is like them. The union minister should first learn what needs to be done in case of natural disasters.”