Odisha govt under fire over poor handling of cyclone and flood situation

Bhubaneswar: The opposition parties today trained their guns on the Odisha government alleging it of failing badly in the handling of Cyclone Titli and the subsequent flood situation in the State.

Reviewing the situation in flood affected Ganjam and Gajapati districts, the State BJP has claimed 45 deaths and 3 missing persons in the area. The party blamed the incapability and apathetic attitude of the State government for the situation.

Prithviraj Harichandan, BJP General Secretary, said, “It is most unfortunate that the government pushed the people into great danger by painting a false picture of cyclone. The government will have to pay the price for compromising the lives of common people.”

“The government was absolutely not prepared for the situation after Cyclone Titli, which led to incessant rain thereby causing flooding and landslides. The evacuation numbers, which is being stated, has been forged to push in bills, “Senior Congress leader Srikant Jena said.

Countering the allegations, Revenue and Disaster Management Minister Maheswar Mohanty said “The government has provided relief and compensation. The chief minister has also announced 15 days of relief package yesterday. Our first priority is to reach out and provide relief to the flood affected people.”

On the other hand, Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan has criticised Food Supplies Minister Surya Patro for his sarcastic remark on the number of casualties in the recent cyclone. He said that such comments by a senior minister has hurt the sentiments of people of Odisha.

Minister Patro in a statement compared Cyclone Titli with a recent US cyclone where 172 deaths were reported. Patro had said, “US being a developed nation still reported 172 deaths in a recent cyclone. In comparison to that, Cyclone Titli has caused much less damage.”

“These comments are like rubbing salt over the wounds of Odisha people”, Pradhan said.
Union Minister Pradhan further targeted the administration and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik for their insensitive approach to the flood situation.

Pradhan questioned the moral compass of the Chief Minister referring to the timing of his recent photo shoot for hockey branding and promotion of Hockey World Cup 2018 in Kaun Banega Crorepati.

Reacting to the statements of Union Minister Pradhan, BJD spokesperson Sasmit Patra said “Pradhan should not just click photos with the Union Home Minister. He should focus on various road repair programmes under the Transport Ministry.

“One should shun from cheap politics and not become an obstacle for Odisha,” Patra added.