Odisha seeks Rs 4,242 crore for cyclone assistance
Bhubaneswar: Odisha government on Sunday sought Rs 4,242.41 crore from the Centre towards repair and restoration work following the devastation caused by Cyclone Phailin and the subsequent flood.
"The state government has given a memorandum showing a loss of Rs 4,242.41 crore due to the cyclone and the floods. The damages are substantial…I have visted a limited areas in cyclone-hit Ganjam district," Union Home Secretary Anil Goswami said after meeting Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik here.
"We will examine the memorandum given by the state government before releasing assistance to the state. I have suggested to the Odisha chief secretary to take advantage of different central government schemes for long term rehabilitation of the affected people," he said.
Both the state government and central government had worked in tandem which resulted in reducing human casulty in the calamity, Goswami said, adding his priority was to set up an inter-ministerial team (IMT) comprising representatives of different central ministries which would soon visit the state and access the damage.
Though Goswami could not visit the worst flood-hit Balasore district due to inclement weather, he toured some of the worst-hit areas in Ganjam district.
Proper coordination had helped in reducing human casulty making it the first time in the country that a natural calamity was effectively handled. "It is, however, unfortunate that despite all out efforts some people died in the cyclone and flood," he told reporters.
Chief Secretary J K Mohapatra during the review meeting urged him to ensure early release of interim assistance of Rs 1,000 crore to facilitate the ongoing relief and restoration works in affected areas.
"We have requested the Centre to release Rs 1,000 crore interim assistance before the arrival of the IMT," special relief commissioner(SRC) P K Mohapatra said. .
The state government in its memorandum pointed out that it required at least Rs 1,048 crore for restoration of power infrastructure, while another Rs 385.50 crore needed for agriculture.
About 11 lakh hectare of standing crop land has been damaged in the calamity and crop loss of more than 50 per cent reported from 6.67 lakh hectare, the memorandum said.
The state government also sought Rs 718.67 crore for pure relief where people are being given food, shelter and other essentials.
"There cannot be any compromise in providing relief to the affected people," SRC said.
The state government has sought assistance for the loss suffered in different departments like rural development, works, panchayati raj, water resources, fisheries and animal resources, textile and handlooms, women and child development, housing and urban development, health and family welfare and revenue and disaster management, official sources said.