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Odisha seeks Rs 17,000 cr relief after Fani, PM Modi lauds relief efforts

The demand was made by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik to Narendra Modi on Monday as the Prime Minister conducted an aerial survey of cyclone-devastated Puri and Khurda districts

Dillip Satapathy Jayajit Dash & Nirmalya Behera  |  Bhubaneswar 

Cyclone Fani: Office goers wait for a ferry to travel across a river during rainfall, in Kolkata, Friday, May 3, 2019. (PTI Photo)
Cyclone Fani: Office goers wait for a ferry to travel across a river during rainfall, in Kolkata, Friday, May 3, 2019. (PTI Photo)

The Odisha government has sought a long-term assistance of Rs 17,000 crore to combat natural calamities. The demand was made by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik to Narendra Modi on Monday as the Prime Minister conducted an aerial survey of cyclone-devastated Puri and Khurda districts. Patnaik urged the Centre to earmark Rs 10,000 crore for building permanent anti-calamity power infrastructure in the coastal areas susceptible to super cyclones.

After reviewing relief and restoration work with the government officials, Modi lauded the colossal efforts of the Odisha government of evacuating 1.2 million people in a short period before Fani’s landfall.

In addition, the chief minister has also asked the prime minister for an assistance of Rs 70 billion for building of 500,000 pucca houses, suggesting that the funding be apportioned between the Centre and state in the ratio of 90:10.

After reviewing relief and restoration work with the government officials, the prime minister lauded the colossal efforts of the Odisha government of evacuating 1.2 million people in a short period before Fani’s landfall.

“Naveen babu has done a good planning,” Modi told reporters in Bhubaneswar.

“Seamless coordination between the Centre and the Odisha government augured well in the run-up to the and in helping the affected citizens.

Leveraging technology and human skills, work towards strengthening Odisha’s will continue at a record pace”, he tweeted after taking stock of the situation in Odisha.

The prime minister announced an interim assistance of Rs 1,000 crore for Odisha where human casualty due to has climbed to 35.

Despite the resounding success in human evacuation, unavailability of manpower is impeding the speed of restoration activities. The state is facing acute dearth in availability of manpower for restoration of the ravaged power sector.

Against the requirement of about 10,000 workers, only 4,000 are engaged in the restoration activities. While the state government has already mobilised personnel from neighbouring Andhra Pradesh and West Bengal, it is in the process of sourcing more manpower from these states.

For attracting more workers from within the state and outside, the Odisha government has notified 1.5 times of prescribed wage rate for skilled, semi-skilled and unskilled labourers in cyclone restoration work.

First Published: Mon, May 06 2019. 19:56 IST
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