BJD urges Prez to direct Centre to assist Odisha

Bhubaneswar: MLAs and Ministers in the BJD government today submitted a memorandum to President Pranab Mukherjee through Governor S C Jamir alleging neglect by the Centre in providing assistance to calamity ravaged Odisha.

Accusing the Centre of neglecting the state even during the natural calamities, the BJD urged the President to direct the Union government to release the demanded funds for the restoration and renovation of infrastructure for people affected in cyclone Phailin and resultant floods.

"18 districts have been affected following the twin calamities. The state government has submitted a demand of more than Rs 5,800 crore. However, the Centre is yet to grant any funds. Besides, no Union minister including the Prime Minister visited the calamity-hit state," alleged state revenue and disaster management minister S N Patro.

"While the Centre announced assistance for Uttarakhand barely two days after the calamity in that state, Odisha has not received a single rupee even after 25 days," he said.

He pointed out that the Union Home Secretary and an inter-ministerial central team have already visited the devastated areas of Odisha.

"But, we have not received anything. Is not it discrimination?" Patro asked, adding that in a federal structure, the Centre should treat all states at par.