Naveen seeks appointment with PM, HM for assistance

Bhubaneswar: Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik sought appointments from Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde today to discuss regarding release of central assistance towards relief and restoration in areas affected by Cyclone Phailin and subsequent floods, official sources said.

"The Chief Minister will visit New Delhi and discuss damage and restoration work in the cyclone and flood hit areas of the state," a release issued by the Chief Minister's Office here said.

Patnaik, who had on October 16 written a letter to the prime minister seeking adhoc assistance of Rs 1,000 crore for relief and restoration works, decided to visit the national capital as Singh cancelled his Odisha visit scheduled on November 2.

Patnaik sought the appointment with the prime minister afew hours after Governor S C Jamir sent a letter to Singh requesting him to consider releasing central assistance to meet the the requirements of the twin calamities.

Earlier, Odisha government had submitted two separate memoranda to the Centre seeking assistance of Rs 5832.50 crore (Rs 4242.41 crore for cyclone and first phase flood and Rs 1590.09 crore for second phase flood) for undertaking relief, restoration and reconstruction activities in the 18 districts hit by the natural calamities.

The state government had also urged the Planning Commission to recommend central assistance of Rs 7769 crore under different schemes.

"Eighteen districts of Odisha have been affected in the twin calamities. State government has submitted its demands.

However, the Centre is yet to grant any fund. Besides, no union minister or the prime minister visited the calamity-hit state," Odisha Revenue and Disaster Management Minister S N Patro said.