Suryakant Jena

Bhubaneswar: Prime Minister Narendra Modi today announced release of Rs 1000 crore additional assistance for Odisha. The Centre had earlier released an advance assistance of Rs 340 crore for the State, when a forecast was made of the 'extremely severe cyclonic storm' Fani hitting Odisha coasts on May 3.

The Prime Minister along with Odisha Governor Ganeshi Lal, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan reviewed the situation of affected areas through an aerial survey today.

PM Modi has praised people of Odisha for cooperating with the administration before the cyclone hit the State.

"Due to cooperation between State and Central agencies, evacuation of 12 lakh people was made possible resulting in 'very few' casualties," PM said.

"As over 14,000 villages were hit by the cyclone, the priority now is provisioning of water supply, electricity and restoring health services," he observed.

PM patted CM Naveen Patnaik. "Naveen babu has done good work and now there is need of man, machine and money. We will together work," Modi added.

Briefing mediapersons after chairing a high-level meeting with the State government and officials of other central departments like telecom, power, railways, health, PM said that given the extensive damages and the need of rehab requirements of Odisha post cyclone, the Centre will release an additional Rs 1000 crore for the State.

A central team will visit the State to make an assessment of the extent of damage borne during the cyclone so that further additional assistance required will also be provided.

PM Modi also announced an ex-gratia of Rs 2 lakh to family of each deceased and Rs 50,000 as compensation to persons injured in the cyclone.

Modi also highlighted the need of a permanent blueprint to tackle the cyclone and other natural disasters in coastal districts including Odisha, which he said will be prepared soon.

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