Odisha wants Rs 777.12 cr Central help for restoration work

Bhubaneswar: A month after cyclone Hudhud hit Odisha, the state government today demanded over Rs 777 crore Central assistance for restoration and rehabilitation work in the areas affected by the calamity.

“Financial assistance of Rs 777.12 crore has been sought in a memorandum submitted to the Union Home Ministry by the state government for undertaking restoration work in cyclone-hit areas,” Special Relief Commissioner P K Mohapatra told reporters here.

Stating that as many as 15 districts were hit by cyclone Hudhud that struck on October 12, Mohapatra said 9,657 villages in seven districts were severely affected.

The damage caused to houses, crops and public properties due to Hudhud was estimated to be Rs 4949.39 crore, he said.

Three persons had died due to the cyclone, while 10 were seriously injured and 670 people sustained minor injuries, Mohapatra said.

As per the memorandum, Rs 777.12 crore has been sought from the National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF) immediately to complete the process of relief and restoration work.

An inter-ministerial Central team may be deputed immediately to the state for assessment of the damage, it said.

“We are expecting a visit of the Central team within a week. I have asked the Collectors of Gajapati, Rayagada, Koraput and Malkangiri to make preparation for it,” said Mohapatra.

Last week, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had met Union Finance minister Arun Jaitley in New Delhi and sought Rs 500 crore as interim Central assistance for restoration work in cyclone affected areas of the state.