Odisha pegs flood, cyclone losses at Rs 4,242cr

Bhubaneswar: Even as the Odisha government is grappling with large-scale relief and rehabilitation works following Cyclone Phailin and the subsequent heavy floods affecting over 1.33crore people in 18 districts, it pegged property loss due to the twin calamities at Rs 4,224.41 crore. The damage includes houses, power sector, roads, buildings of educational institutions, drinking water sources etc, officials said. 
The state government on Sunday presented a memorandum in this regard to Union Home Secretary Anil Goswami who this morning took a stock of the situation in Ganjam district, the worst hit in cyclone Phailin and discussed with Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and other top officials at the secretariat. 
Highly placed sources said, the state government has estimated Rs 1048.14 crore loss to the power sector while the deadly cyclone and the flash floods have caused damages to about 6.71 lakh hectares of agriculture land in 27 districts resulting a loss of Rs 385crore.
In the hardest-hit Ganjam district alone, the loss is estimated at Rs 1,550 crore, they added.
Preliminary assessment shows, at least 2.4 lakh houses and over 200,000 hectares of agricultural land in the district have been damaged, making it the state’s worst casualty of the storm. 
Besides, about 40 power transmission towers were uprooted by the cyclone, leaving most parts of the district without electricity. 
The other sectors which bore the brunt of the cyclone’s fury and the devastating flood aftermath of the cyclone have estimated the damages at Rs 755.4cr (panchayati raj), Rs 261cr (urban development), Rs 430 cr (water resources) and Rs 238.41cr (higher education).
Officials added the Orissa Milk Producers' Cooperative Federation (Omfed), which collects over one lakh litres of milk a day has suffered a loss of Rs 216.2cr due to the natural calamities that ravaged the state recently.
Notably, ahead of the assessment by central officials Naveen Patnaik on Wednesday had urged Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to release an advance of Rs. 1,000 crore over and above the corpus of Rs. 523 crore available in the State Disaster Response Fund for 2013-14 for relief and restoration work in the regions hit by cyclone Phailin.