Assembly Update: Centre grants mere 12% of State’s assistance demand for natural disasters

State had witnessed as many 21 natural disasters in a span of almost 17 years, which points how highly it is vulnerable to natural disasters

Bhubaneswar: The numbers sound disastrous! When the State had witnessed as many 21 natural disasters in a span of almost 17 years, all that Odisha could receive was a mere 12 per cent of its demand from the Centre as financial assistance for the damages the State incurred in the natural disasters.

As per the data tabled on the floor of the House, during the period 2000-19, Odisha did not witness any natural disaster for only three years. The years were 2012, 2016 and 2017.

As the State witnessed natural disasters during four-fifth of the last near two decades, facts point to how highly Odisha is vulnerable to natural disasters. While the State had witnessed as many as seven droughts during the period 2000-19. During the same period, the State had witnessed as many as 12 floods. Data shows State had not witnessed a single drought during 2003 – 2008.

The statement laid in the Assembly reveals that Centre post its assessment of damages due to natural disasters in Odisha, could sanction around 10 -12 per cent of the assistance amount sought by the State.

The highest of 18 per cent of the State’s disaster assistance was granted by the Centre for cyclone Phailin and floods thereafter.

However, in case of Fani assistance, within a span of 23 days, the Centre has granted a high of 15 per cent of the State’s demand.

Significantly, the Assembly data has also revealed a shocker as it showed Odisha received Central assistance  of Rs 53.44 crore in 2004-05 though the cyclone had stuck in 1999.