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Protest in Odisha over 'irregularities' in cyclone aid release

Press Trust of India  |  Bhubaneswar 

Hundreds of cyclone-affected people staged a demonstration before the Lokayukta office here on Monday, alleging gross irregularities in disbursement of financial assistance.

A delegation of protesters, led by BJP national spokesperson Sambit Patra and party MLAs, also met Puri district Collector Balwant Singh, seeking his intervention into the matter.

The agitators, mostly from Puri, claimed that six months have passed since Cyclone Fani devastated their homes and other establishments in coastal Odisha, but they were yet to receive any compensation.

The super cyclone in May had left 64 dead, 39 in Puri alone, and damaged more than five lakh houses.

"The Centre has already released Rs 3,338 crore as assistance to the Odisha government for cyclone-affected people. But people are still waiting to receive the aid," said BJP MLA from Brahmagiri, Lalitendu Bidyadhar Mohapatra.

The BJP national spokesperson alleged that the ruling BJD had adopted a partisan approach in doling out the financial assistance.

"When it came to families with affiliation to the ruling BJD, more than one member was found to have got the compensation. Several others in need of the money, however, have been denied the assistance," he told reporters after meeting the district collector.

Singh, on his part, said 2.78 lakh families have received compensation so far.

"The severely affected blocks have got the maximum compensation, while other blocks received aid as per norms. If people are still alleging that they have been left out, then we will check and identify them," the collector maintained.

Sharing similar views, Revenue and Disaster Management Minister Sudam Marndi also said that the cyclone-hit people have been adequately compensated.

"If there are families that have been left out, they will be compensated under other housing schemes," the minister added.

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

First Published: Mon, November 04 2019. 21:00 IST
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