Free Press Journal

Patnaik seeks more central assistance for cyclone damage


Bhubaneswar: Lamenting that Rs 460.38 crore was approved against Rs 5832.50 crore central assistance sought by Odisha after cyclone Phailin, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik today urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to direct the High Level Committee to reconsider it and sanction the demand.

“The state Government had quickly submitted two memorandums to the Government of India seeking central assistance of Rs 5832.50 crore towards relief and immediate restoration of damaged infrastructure,” Patnaik said in a letter to Modi, copy of which was released here.

However, the High Level Committee has approved a net assistance of only Rs 460.38 crore from NDRF in favour of the state, he said adding that while considering the matter, many important aspects have been ignored.

Stating that there was severe damage to public assets and private property due to Cyclone Phailin and subsequent floods in October 2013, Patnaik said these matters were brought to the notice of the Ministry of Home Affairs with a request to reconsider the matter.

The Home Ministry was urged to reconsider the matter especially relating to three items : gratuitous relief, temporary shelter provided to the people and agriculture input subsidy to affected farmers, the chief minister said.

“When we submitted the memorandum, a quick assessment had been made regarding the requirement of funds under different heads,” he said.

However, after final assessment, the actual amount as per the norms of assistance from SDRF/NDRF have been communicated to the Home Ministry through a letter dated 10.6.2014 which may be treated as the Supplementary Memorandum, Patnaik said.

“I would like to request you to kindly direct the High Level Committee to reconsider the matter and sanction the above just demands of the state at the earliest,” the CM said in his letter to the Prime Minister.

Referring to the damage caused by cyclone Phailin coupled with a spell of high flood thereafter, Patnaik said although the government through adequate preparedness, proper planning and execution could restrict the loss of lives, there was severe damage to both public assets and private property.

The government also ensured timely assistance to the affected people and immediate restoration of damaged infrastructure, he said.