Fani Restoration: Inter-ministerial team assures complete support to Odisha

Bhubaneswar: Assuring complete support to the State government in the ongoing relief and restoration works post Cyclone Fani, Additional Secretary of Ministry of Home Affairs, Vivek Bharadwaj, who led the inter-ministerial team during its 3-day Odisha visit, said all help ranging from power and telecom network infrastructure to strengthening livelihood of the affected people will be ensured.

Following a two and half day visit of the team in the affected areas, the team held a meeting with the State government officials including Chief Secretary AP Padhi and SRC Bishnupada Sethi at the State Secretariat today.

“We visited many cyclone-hit areas. In Puri, there has been massive damage. We will provide support to Odisha government. Be it power network or strengthening livelihood of people through MGNREGA scheme, the central government will extend support to the Odisha government in restoration of all sectors,” said Vivek Bharadwaj.

Following the meeting, Chief Secretary AP Padhi said, “Detailed memorandum has not been prepared yet. It will take more time as reports are being sought from Collectors of different districts. After assessing them, we will send the final memorandum to the Centre.”

The chief secretary further said the State government has requested to revise the State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF) and National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF) norms, especially in power sector. “As high transmission wires are not covered under SDRF and NDRF, the State has demanded a revision of these norms,” Padhi added.

Special Relief Commissioner Bishnupada Sethi, who was also present in the meeting said, “The State demanded Rs 5,000 crore on account of loss to public infra and Rs 7,000 crore under the SDRF norms. After the door-to-door enumeration from May 15, the damage estimate might go up. Besides, people are being informed through mobile to present their losses. By this month end, the final memorandum will be submitted to the Central team.”

Earlier in the day, the central team visited Kalinga Stadium, Rasulgarh and other cyclone- affected areas in Bhubaneswar as part of its spot assessment. Yesterday, the committee had visited other parts to gauge the damages caused by Cyclone Fani.