Cyclone Fani-hit Odisha villagers still await government’s help

Puri: It has been more than six months since the devastating cyclone Fani wreaked havoc in several districts of Odisha, but unfortunately, many cyclone-hit victims are yet to receive assistance from the State government.

For Sanjay Maharana of Nirmala village in Puri, the struggle to get a house has almost become a herculean task. Despite damage assessment, Sanjay says he has not been allotted a house due to which he has been staying at the village community hall.

“After my house was destroyed in cyclone Fani, some government officials came to assess the damages twice. But so far I have received only Rs 3,200 in the name of assistance,” said Sanjay.

“After losing our home to cyclone Fani, we were struggling to get a place to live,” said Sanjay’s wife, Juna Maharana.

Sanjay is not the only one from his village. Out of 100 Fani-hit families of Nirmala village, 80 families have received only some cash assistance and the rest are still awaiting help.

The locals allege that due to corruption and government apathy, they have not been allotted houses due to which most of them are forced to stay in makeshift structures.

Pratima Mishra, a local resident alleged, “We were asked to pay Rs 10,000 to get a house. Where from we will arrange the money?”

Some local residents also alleged that multiple members of one family have been allotted houses separately.

“There have been irregularities in allotment of houses. Without proper survey, Revenue Inspector has made the list of beneficiaries,” said Narendra Das, Sarpanch of Teisipur village.

No comments could be obtained from the concerned authority regarding the irregularities.