Chief minister Naveen Patnaik 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.
“I would request you to release an advance of Rs 1,000 crore over and above the corpus of Rs 523 crore available in the State Disaster Response Fund for 2013-14. This will help us in meeting the immediate requirement. A detailed report in the form of memorandum shall be presented soon after assessment of the damage,” Patnaik wrote to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
Patnaik pointed out the cyclonic storm Phailin and the subsequent floods have caused damage and destruction in 17 districts of Odisha. Out of this, Ganjam district where the cyclone made its landfall, has been the worst affected and there has been extensive damage to public and private property and agricultural crops. While 21 persons have lost their lives in the cyclone, seven others have died in the floods as per the latest official data.
“I would like to highlight the extensive damage caused to the power systems in Ganjam district which alone will require more than Rs 900 crore to be fully restored. A major grid station has been devastated. Electrical infrastructure right from the extra high tension to the consumer level has been severely damaged throughout the district. This requires immediate restoration for which I have already sought for the support of the government of India, particularly the PSUs under the Ministry of Power sch as PowerGrid Corporation of India (PGCIL), NTPC and National Hydro Power Corporation (NHPC),” he added.
According to initial reports, almost 400,000 kutcha and semi-pucca houses have been completely or partially damaged as result of the cyclone and floods causing untold suffering to those living in them, Patnaik said in the letter.
“These (the damaged houses) need to be repaired on an urgent basis for which immediate assistance is required. Since flood waters are yet to recede, we have not yet assessed the full damage to the standing crop but the damage is quite extensive covering over 600,000 hectares,” he added. Around 20 million people of 16,487 villages under 148 blocks of 2,015 gram panchayats and 43 urban bodies in 17 blocks were affected due to the cyclone as well as the floods which hit in 17 out of 30 districts in the state.
While 983,000 people have been evacuated to safer places on the eve of the cyclonic storm hit the state, around 112,000 people of five flood hit districts- Balasore, Mayurbhanj, Bhadrak, Jajpur and Keonjhar have been shifted.