Naveen demands Rs 1,000 cr from NDRF

Bhubaneswar: The State government on Wednesday wrote to Union Home minister P Chidambaram seeking immediate release of Rs 1,000 crore from the National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF) to meet requirements of 21 flood districts.

"I will request you to make urgent release of ad hoc assistance of Rs 1,000 crore from the NDRF for undertaking immediate repair and restoration activities in the flood-hit areas," Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said in the letter to Chidambaram. Pointing out that the state experienced two spells of high floods in quick succession, Patnaik said that the state had incurred sizable expenditure on immediate response measure including provision of emergent relief to distressed people.

"The state`s corpus under SDRF (state disaster response fund) will not be enough to meet the requirement of the calamity which is of rare severity," Patnaik said thanking the Centre for releasing the second instalment of the central share from the SDRF in advance. Only Rs 411.10 crore was earmarked for the state under SDRF in which the Centre`s share was 308 crore.

The chief minister also asked the Centre to consider the state`s two memoranda submitted regarding the devastating floods which claimed at least 83 lives besides damanging scores of houses. "We have also requested the home minister to consider the impression of the inter-ministerial central team which visited the state during second spell of flood," a senior official in the revenue and disaster management department said.