BJP delegation meets PM, demands release of Phailin aid

New Delhi: A BJP delegation led by former party chief M Venkaiah Naidu on Tuesday called on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and demanded to release financial assistance of Rs 1000 crore declared each for Odisha and Andhra Pradesh towards relief and rehabilitation of cyclone and flood victims in the states.
The delegation which included BJP MP from Chandrapur (Maharastra) Hansraj Ahir and state leaders such as Dharmendra Pradhan, Jual Oram and Manmohan Samal also conveyed the PM its concern over the plights of Odisha’s cyclone-hit fishermen community.
“Since the state government, after facing the twin calamities, is unable to bear the rehabilitation and restoration expenses alone, we have requested Prime Minister Manmohan Singh ji for an early release of Rs 1000 crore declared for Odisha as interim assistance,” senior BJP leader Jual Oram said.
“Besides, we have also requested the PM to chalk out a mechanism so that the boats and nets of the fishermen are insured and premium for which should be shared between the Central and State governments,” added he.
The delegation apprised Singh about the damages caused to pulses, paddy, coconut crops and cashewnut in both the states.
According to reports around 12 Iakh acres of paddy, 1.25 lakh acres of pulses and 80,000 acres of horticulture were damaged due to the natural disasters.
“Post cyclone, the coconut farmers especially in Puri district who completely depend on the traditional livelihoods are literally left with nothing. We have requested the PM for sufficient compensation for these cyclone-hit victims,” Oram said
Reports say, while over 15 lakh farmers of the costal districts have lost their coconut trees under the impact of cyclone Phailin, the Coconut Development Board has estimated the loss at Rs 316 crore.