BJD criticises Centre on flood relief

Bhubaneswar: Ruling BJD on Monday criticised the Centre for not releasing fund for the cyclone-hit people in the state and said they would launch agitation if no assistance was given.
"We appeal to the people of Odisha to condemn the continuous negligence and step motherly attitude of the Centre and put pressure on the it for immediate sanction of the demand made by the state government," BJD Vice-presidents S N Patro, Kalpataru Das and party's youth wing president Sanjay Dasburma told reporters here.
Stating that the state has experienced severe damage of property in the cyclone Phailin and resultant floods, they said neither the prime minister nor any central minister did visit the state to see on their own the gravity of the destruction.
"The state has managed to mitigate the apathy of the people with its own resources and operated the relief and rescue work successfully. Though the chief minister has requested the prime minister for immediate sanction of Rs 1,000 crore, not a single money has so far been released," Revenue and Disaster Management Minister S N Patro said.
If the Centre did not extend assistance to the state, the party would be forced to launch agitation, they said.
Union Minister Srikant Jena, who had been touring different parts of the state since the calamity struck, rejecting the allegation said, "the Centre has all along providing assistance and support to the state. The people of Odisha know who is what."
The state government yesterday submitted a memorandum with the Centre seeking an assistance of Rs 4242.41 crore for relief and restoration work, official sources said.