Vikash Sharma

Bhubaneswar: Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik announced a special package for livelihood support for the persons affected by the very severe cyclonic storm ‘Bulbul’ after conducting an aerial survey  of the affected districts on Monday.

The cyclonic storm wreaked havoc in several parts of Odisha before making a landfall in neighbouring West Bengal and subsequently moving towards Bangladesh last week. Five districts - Jagatsinghpur, Kendrapada, Bhadrak Balasore and Mayurbhanj were mostly affected due to cyclone ‘Bulbul’.

Particularly, cyclone Bulbul caused extensive damage to standing paddy crops in several parts of coastal Odisha. Besides, the livelihood of people depending on animal husbandry, fisheries and other sectors have also been affected.

Keeping in view the large-scale damage, Odisha today decided to provide an agriculture input subsidy to small and marginal farmers who sustained a crop loss of of 33 percent and above Rs 6,800 per hectare of land in rainfed/ non-irrigated areas, Rs 13,500 per hectare of land in areas under assured irrigation and Rs 18,000 per hectare for all types of perennial crops (mango, cashew, coconut, betel vine etc).

Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) has been asked to ensure that the agriculture input subsidy to any affected farmer shall not be less than Rs 2,000 for perennial crops and Rs 1,000 for other crops.

50,000 seed mini kits of pulses and oilseeds and 10,000 vegetable mini kits will be provided to the affected farmers for the 2019-20 Rabi season. An incentive of Rs 15,000 per farmer will be provided to 30 units for repair and renovation of betel vine cultivation.

The agriculture, cooperation and panchayat raj departments have been directed to take steps to conduct crop cutting experiments to settle the claims of the affected insured farmers under crop insurance scheme,PMFBY.

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik also directed Collectors of the affected districts to submit damage assessment report to Special Relief Commissioner by November 18. The officials have also asked to ensure that the assistance is provided to the affected people by November 24.

As per initial reports, crops in nearly 3 lakh hectare of crop area including horticulture crops have been affected out of which about 2 Lakh hectare have suffered crop loss to the extent of 33% and above.

Odisha government has also announced for special package for animal resource development and fisheries sector.

Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) Pradeep Jena informed that a Central team would be visiting the affected districts for two days starting from November 14.