Power restored in 2,500 households in cyclone-hit Puri
Bhubaneswar: Power supply has been restored in 2,500 households in cyclone-hit Puri and at least another 4,000 will get electricity by Thursday night, District Collector Balwant Singh said.
The Odisha government said the relief and restoration work has picked up substantially in other cyclone-hit districts like Khurda, Cuttack, Jagatsinghpur and Kendrapara.
“We have already electrified Shree Jagannath Temple, Grand Road in Puri town on Wednesday. Around 2,500 households in the holy town have also been given power,” Singh said, adding that another batch of about 4,000 households will get power by Thursday night.
“It is like rebuilding the power network in Puri district,” a senior official said.
The NTPC has taken up the responsibility to restore power in four blocks of Puri, while the Power Grid Corporation Of India Limited (PGCIL) has engaged its workers in two other blocks.
Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Thursday wrote to Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, seeking relaxation of certain norms for central assistance to restore power in the cyclone-hit district.
Patnaik said the power infrastructure in Puri and parts of other coastal districts has been extensively damaged in the cyclone that killed at least 64 people.
As internet connectivity is another problem in the calamity-hit areas, the Odisha government has sought a month’s extension from the GST council to file GSRT-I and GSTR-3.
Additional Secretary in the Ministry of Finance Debasish Panda, along with Odisha’s Finance Secretary A K Meena, reviewed the restoration of banking facilities in the aftermath of the cyclone.
Panda has asked banks to open brick-and-mortar branches within two to three days, and start ATM services in four to five days.
Out of the 1,992 bank branches in the six coastal districts of Puri, Khurda, Cuttack, Kendrapara, Jagatsinghpur and Jajpur, 1,934 branches have been made functional.
Of the 2,921 ATMs, over 2,000 are now working in these districts, Panda said.
All insurance companies have also been advised to ensure prompt settlement of claims.
Chief Secretary A P Padhi has asked collectors of all the cyclone-hit districts to submit damage assessment reports with the special relief commissioner (SRC) by May 22, and implement the chief minister’s special package announced for the affected people.
Meanwhile, due to severe heat, hospitals in different cyclone-hit areas have reported several cases of diarrhoea.
However, there is no outbreak of any epidemic so far, said a Health Department release.
Patnaik, who had on Wednesday reviewed the situation in the worst-hit Puri district, visited Kendrapara on Thursday to take stock of relief operation.
He announced that 30 new multi-purpose cyclone shelters would be set up in the district at a cost of Rs 60 crore.
The chief minister said Rs 2 lakh each would be provided for the repair of school buildings, anganwadi centres and panchayat-managed public utility assets, which have been damaged in the extremely severe cyclonic storm that barrelled through coastal Odisha on May 3.