Odisha seeks release of Rs 399 cr Phailin aid from NDRF

Bhubaneswar: The Odisha government on Saturday requested the Centre for immediate release of Rs 399.83 crore as assistance from the National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF) for the victims of the devastating cyclone Phailin in October, 2013.

In a letter to Union Finance minister Arun Jaitley, chief minister Naveen Patnaik said the state government had done excellent work both before the cyclone and after for relief and rehabilitation of the affected persons.

“Unfortunately, due to an erroneous assessment by the Inter Ministerial Central Team, our legitimate dues were not sanctioned from the NDRF in the high level committee meeting presided over by the then Union Agriculture minister Sharad Pawar. The state government pointed out the error and I was pleased to receive the letter on October 10, 2014 from the Home ministry informing me that the expenditure of Rs 399.83 crore was approved”, Patnaik reminded the Union minister.

He, however, said as the ministry did not release the fund despite its confirmation, he had drawn the attention of the prime minister in a letter on January 15 and again on March 4 this year.

“But the formal decision of the High Level Committee in this regard could not be taken despite its three meetings held on January 14, March 24 and May 29 this year”, the chief minister said and requesting Jaitley to see that the error is rectified and the promised amount of Rs 399.83 crore is sanctioned from the NDRF at the earliest.