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Odisha seeks Rs 4,242 cr cyclone assistance

As per the estimate, the state energy department has suffered maximum losses due to the cyclone and flood

BS Reporter  |  Bhubaneswar 

The state government has requested the Centre to provide Rs 4,242. 41 crore in form of grant to rebuild homes and power infrastructure that were affected during Phailin cyclone and floods following the storm.

Odisha chief secretary, J K Mohapatra presented a memorandum to Union home secretary, Anil Goswami in this regard at the state secretariat, here, today in the presence of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik.

As per the estimate, the state energy department has suffered maximum losses due to the cyclone and flood and an amount of Rs 1,048.14 crore assistance has been sought to restore power supply in the affected areas.

State panchayatiraj department has reported a loss of Rs 755.40 crore for damage to infrastructure under its maintainance and Water Resources department claimed Rs 430 crore worth property damage.

With Phailin cyclone and floods triggered by it affecting crops on 671,000 ha farm land, the agriculture department sought Rs 385 crore assistance.

Similarly, the school mass education department reported loss of Rs 238.41 crore because of damage to 5,825 school building under its jurisdiction.

The rural development department has estimated its loss at Rs 261 crore while state-run dairy network Omfed pegged the damage to properties at Rs 216 crore.

The losses estimated by other departments include horticulture department (Rs 19.5 crore), fisheries department (Rs 19.40 crore) and soil conservation department (Rs 8 crore).

Goswami today visited the cyclone-hit Ganjam district to assess the loss of public property and need of relief assistance services. During his visit, Ganjam district administration briefed him that the loss in the district alone would amount to Rs 1,550 crore.

Goswami said, he will soon constitute an Inter-Ministerial Committee, which will assess the losses reported by the state government.

“After the committee report, we will put it up to the empowered group of ministers headed by the Union agriculture minister. The empowered group will then take a call about how much the state should get in form of grant,” he said after his meeting with the state government officials today.

Goswami had to cut short his visit to Balasore district to review the flood situation there because of bad weather.

The state government had earlier sought Rs 1,000 crore assistance from the central government for relief and restoration works. It today reiterated its demand of releasing the amount citing that constitution of Inter- Ministerial Committee and Centre’s decision to provide grant would take long time and therefore, could delay the reconstruction process.

According to official figures, 13.3 million people have been affected by the cyclone and floods in 15,578 villages under 1,924 gram panchayats comprising 128 blocks in 18 districts. The losses were severe in coastal districts of Ganjam, Puri, Jagatsinghpur, Bhadrak, Mayurbhanj and Balasore. The report said nearly half a million houses got destroyed in the twin calamities.

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First Published: Sun, October 20 2013. 20:12 IST