Apna Sapna, Fani Money: No End To Sufferings Of Cyclone Fani Victims In Odisha

Bhubaneswar: Following assurances from Odisha government, cyclone Fani affected people had expectations that they would soon get help and build their houses which were damaged in one of the worst calamities to have hit the State. However, they are yet to have roof over their heads even after almost eight months have passed since Fani hit the State on May 3, 2019.

Though the families, who lost their houses in the cyclone, got money credited to their bank accounts, their accounts have reportedly been frozen by the administration following allegations of around 1.3 lakh fake beneficiaries.

Affected people, especially in Brahmagiri and Pipili blocks of Puri district continue to suffer due to the ‘callous’ attitude of the administration. One Chhabi Ghodei of Kulasekharpatana had received Rs 85,100 for his lost house, but it was soon frozen by the administration. Several such cases have been reported from other parts of the district.

“I have now borrowed money from private parties to construct my house as my account has been frozen. Similar problems are being faced by people here. We are not able to withdraw our own saved money in the bank,” said Dhunda Naik of Brahmagiri.

Golapa Khatei of Pipili said, “Though I had received Rs 95,000, my account has been blocked. I am now forced to stay with my kids in the damaged house. It’s getting difficult for me to bear the sufferings.”

Protesting the administration’s move to freeze the bank accounts, several beneficiaries today staged demonstration in front of the district collector’s office.

Puri Collector, Balwant Singh said that recovery of money would be done from the ineligible beneficiaries and action will be taken against the officials who have recommended such fake names.