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Cyclone Fani: Death toll mounts to 43; people stage blockade

Press Trust of India  |  Bhubaneswar 

The death toll in Odisha due to mounted to 43 on Saturday, even as people staged a road blockade and assaulted a state in protest against water shortage and power cuts in the coastal belt ravaged by the severe a week ago.

According to an official, two fresh deaths have been reported in Cuttack and Khurda districts of the state.

While the claimed to have restored power and drinking water supplies in urban pockets of Kendrapara, Jagatsinghpur and Cuttack districts, people Saturday blocked roads connecting Paradip and Cuttack, and the national highway linking Bhubaneswar with Puri, alleging lack of basic amenities.

Similar agitations were seen in parts of the state capital where power continued to remain elusive for the eighth consecutive day.

In the pilgrim town of Puri, worst hit in the storm, locals were leaving homes and shifting elsewhere temporarily, even as the claimed that it was undertaking relief work on war footing.

"We left and moved to Koraput (500 km away) as there is no certainty on restoration of power and water supply. Bhubaneswar, too, has been severely hit by power and drinking water crisis.

"Add to that, hotel and guest house owners are charging more than the usual rate in view of the rush," Rathindra Mishra, a native of Mausima Lane in Puri, said.

A report from district said angry people in Binjharpur tehsil area beat up a for not getting relief as announced by the

R K Das said "stringent action" will be taken against those found guilty of assaulting the

In almost all in the coastal districts, police personnel have been deployed to tackle people attempting to attack officials, according to in the state government.

Meanwhile, (SRC) B P Sethi in a letter to the of Khurda sought immediate distribution of relief material and cash to affected people.

Sethi said he has received letters alleging that relief packages were being denied to eligible beneficiaries.

The "extremely-severe" cyclone, one of the "rarest of rare", unleashed copious rain and windstorms that gusted up to 240 kmph on May 3, blowing away thatched houses and swamping towns and villages in Odisha.

NDRF S N Pradhan, who met A P Padhi and the special relief commissioner, said the specialised force would assist the government till power is restored in the state.

"The NDRF has deployed personnel in 50 different teams. They are equipped with sophisticated machines like power cutter, plasma cutter and Our personnel are assisting the state government in restoring power," he added.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sat, May 11 2019. 18:26 IST
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