The Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (Assocham) has backed the demand of the Odisha government for a special support from the Centre for taking up relief and rebuilding work in the aftermath of the Phailin striking the state’s southern coast on October 12.
The industry body has also appealed to India Inc to generously contribute to the state government for carrying out massive relief and restoration work across the most affected districts of the state.
“About half a million temporary (kutcha) and semi-permanent (pucca) houses have been washed away in the affected areas which need to be rebuilt on an urgent basis.
“Besides, restoration of power supply and other electrical infrastructure together with supply of drinking water are the key enormous tasks ahead of the Odisha government,” said Rana Kapoor, President, Assocham.
Appreciating the effective and coordinated role played by all the agencies and especially by the state government, he said, “There has been tremendous loss to standing crops. Moreover, fishing boats, nets and other such apparatus of the fishermen community have been lost or completely damaged. Many mobile towers and other communication infrastructure have been destroyed and as such Assocham has urged the central government to extend its full support to Odisha in its hour of crisis.”
Assocham has lauded the efforts of the state government for massive preparedness to ensure timely evacuation of about a million people and avoid loss of human life on a large scale.
Though relief and restoration work is in full swing across the affected districts in the state, the overall rehabilitation and resettlement is likely to take over half a year’s time, he added.
Patnaik, in a letter to the Prime minister Manmohan Singh, has sought an advance of Rs 1,000 crore from the Government of India to take up relief and restoration works in the affected areas of Odisha.
“The cyclone will have wide and far implications on the state economy considering that a series of villages have been completely wiped off and inhabitants of such villages have been forced to abandon their abodes and conventional sources of livelihood,” Rana said.
“Migration of these people will impose heavy costs on human development in the form of poor and compromised working conditions of migrants and obstacles in their access to food, shelter, education and health care,” the Assocham president said.
Coping with loss to industry, physical infrastructure, crops, livestock, tourism and jobs are other significant challenges in front of the state government, he added.