Misery of cyclone victims compounded in Gopalpur

Berhampur: Four days after cyclone Phailin hit the eastern coast of Odisha at Gopalpur near here, the misery of the victims was compounded in Ganjam district without power, safe drinking water and relief material.
Relief materials were yet to reach several affected areas while the entire district was still without power, survivors said adding that safe drinking water was a rare commodity.
In some places, including Aska road in Berhampur town, the people protested yesterday demanding relief.
Shankar Rao, a local trader in Berhampore town, said, ''We are going without electricity and drinking water supply for the last four days''.
Kailash Chandra, resident of Gajapati Nagar area here, said, ''We are still awaiting relief material even after the cyclone has left a trail of devastation''.
The district administration, however, claimed that relief and restoration work was going on in full-swing.
"Our first priority is to clear the roads. Then to supply the power to the medical college hospital and water supply," District Collector Krishan Kumar said today.
Energy Secretary P K Jena, who conducted a review meeting here with officials of Southco, the power distribution company, said power supply was likely to be restored in Berhampur in the next one week and it would take about 15 days for restoration of power in rural areas.
"We have pressed over 1000 persons and several trained persons from Mumbai and New Delhi to restore power supply in the town," he said.
Around 48 towers and over 150 feeders have been damaged in the district. Over 1000 electric poles in Berhampur town alone have been uprooted causing heavy damage which is calculated at around Rs 200 crore, Jena said.
A team led by Panchayat Raj Minister Kalpataru Das is expected to reach Berhampur soon to monitor the restoration and rehabilitation operation in the town, official sources said.