Cyclone Fani-battered residents hit streets alleging lack of assistance

Jagatsinghpur: People battered by cyclone Fani in the coastal districts of Jagatsinghpur and Puri today hit the streets protesting district administration’s inability to provide them adequate assistance in the wake of the extremely severe cyclonic storm.

Hundreds of irate locals in Biridi block of Jagatsinghpur gheraoed the block and Tehsil office alleging that no relief material was supplied to them. The mob went berserk and barged into the Tehsil office before locking up its gate as a mark of protest.

As the situation went out of control, the administrative officials sought police intervention to pacify the aggrieved residents. However, irate locals tussled with the cops instead of calming down.

Many of them alleged that even after two days after the cyclone, the administration has not provided them necessary financial assistance, cooked food, polythene sheets and other relief materials.

Following the incident, district collector Guha Poonam reviewed the relief and restoration process during an emergency meeting with officials of all departments. The collector has directed the officials to take up the relief and restoration work on a war footing.

Similarly, in Puri district, residents resorted to road blockade at several places alleging lack of compensation and relief after the cyclonic storm. Hundreds of protesters staged dharna at Chandanpur bypass near Satyabadi. Following the incident, vehicular communication was disrupted on the Puri highway as hundreds of vehicles were stranded on both sides.

“Since last 3 days, we have been going through a harrowing time without food, water and house, but political leaders who came seeking votes just a few weeks ago are nowhere to be seen now,” said a local resident.