Naveen Pattnaik Seeks Rs 1000 crore advance Central help for Relief

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Bhubaneswar: Terming the damage caused by cyclone Phailin and subsequent floods “quite extensive”, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik today sought from the Centre an advance assistance of Rs 1,000 crore for carrying out prompt relief and restoration works.

“In order to take relief and restoration works of an immediate nature, 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 the year 2013-14,” the CM said in a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

Quoting initial reports, Patnaik said almost four lakh kutcha and semi-pucca houses have been completely or partially damaged as a result of the cyclone and floods causing untold suffering to those living in them.

“These need to be repaired on an urgent basis for which immediate assistance is required,” he stressed.

Patnaik said the natural calamity caused destruction in 17 districts including Ganjam, where cyclone Phailin made a landfall near Gopalpur on October 12 night.

“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,” the CM said.

He appreciated the “good” coordination between the central and state government agencies in undertaking massive evacuation that ensured minimum loss of human life.

As many as 28 persons were killed, seven of them in floods, even as 9.83 lakh people were evacuated to safer places ahead of the storm.

Maintaining that full assessment of the damage has not been completed since flood waters are yet to recede, Patnaik said, “a detailed report in the form of a memorandum shall be presented (to Union Government) soon after assessment of the damage.”

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