Noisy scene in House over cyclone shelters

Bhubaneswar: Odisha Assembly on Wednesday witnessed noisy scenes when members of both ruling and Opposition demanded explanation from the Revenue and Disaster Management minister Surya Narayan Patro regarding the maintenance of the existing cyclone shelters in the state.

During question hour, Soro Congress MLA Surendra Prasad Pramanik alleged that no steps have been taken by the state government to revive the cyclone shelters which are in a dilapidated condition. BJD MLAs including Sipra Mallick (Kendrapara), Amar Satpathy (Barchana) and Pradeep Panigrahi (Gopalpur) voiced their support for Pramanik.  

In a reply to BJD MLA Pradeep Maharathy, the minister said the revenue department had taken up the maintenance work of 200 cyclone shelters.

“The department (revenue) has been allocated Rs 60,000 for the maintenance of 97 cyclone shelters,” informed Patro adding that the School and mass Education department has been entrusted to maintain 1042 cyclone shelters.

When the understandably worried members asked about the non-existence of approach roads to the shelters, Patro said that provisions have been made in the second phase construction work of these houses.

“We have made provisions for approach roads in the ongoing World Bank-funded project work of 150 cyclone shelters. In this phase 56 such shelters will be built in Balasore district alone while 42 will be constructed in Puri district,” added Patro.

According to the minister Bhadrak, Kendrapara, Jagatsinghpur and Ganjam districts will get 17, 14, 7 and 14 cyclone shelters respectively in the second phase for which tender process is on.

The minister informed the House that during construction of 200 cyclone shelters in the first phase, there was no budgetary provision of approach roads.