NDRF money not yet released:S N Patro

Berhampur: The Centre is yet to release money from the National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF) to Orissa for relief and restoration activities in flood-hit areas, according to State Revenue and Disaster Management Minister S N Patro. The state government had submitted two memoranda seeking Central assistance of Rs 3265 crore for twin spells of floods last month which affected 21 out of 30 districts. The state government has prepared a Rs 1208 crore plan for restoration work in 45 days.

Though Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had written to Union Home Minister P.Chidambaram twice seeking immediate assistance of Rs 1000 crore from NDRF to expedite relief and restoration activities in 21 flood-hit districts, the Centre was yet to release the funds, the minister said during a visit here . Chief Minister is likely to take up the issue with the Union Home Minister during his next visit to New Delhi, he informed.

Patro, however, said the Centre had released some amount from the State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF) for relief and restoration work in the flood hit areas.The SDRF corpus for the state for 2011-12 was Rs 411.16-crore. The share of the Centre and state in the corpus is 75 and 25 percent respectively.

As the state was hit by drought before the devastating floods, government had taken several measures to assist the farmers in both flood and drought-hit districts, he said. These included providing non-paddy seeds at a subsidy of 50 per cent, around 30,000 diesel pump sets at 50 per cent subsidised rate and to restoration of at least 1000 lift irrigation points by the end of December. The Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) has released Rs 67 crore for this purpose, the minister said.