Bhubaneswar: With more than 3.33 lakh houses and thousands of roads damaged due to the cyclone, the Centre has said it would extend flexibility in its various programmes for rehabilitating the ‘Phailin’ affected people in Odisha.

In a letter to Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh said there would also be relaxation in provisions of rural job scheme MNREGA in the affected districts.

“After the recent Uttarakhand natural disaster, flexibility was given to the state to implement MGNREGA more effectively to provide employment in affected areas. We will extend the same flexibility to Odisha as well,” Ramesh said.

He said he was looking forward to receiving proposals from the state administration quickly.

Ramesh said he wrote the letter in connection with the reconstruction that will be required in some places in Odisha severely affected by Phailin.

“This may well involve reconstruction of Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana roads and additional assistance under Indira Awas Yojana for houses,” he said.

There has been huge loss to property and infrastructure due to ‘Phailin’, but the state government has so far demanded only technical support from the Centre for re-building some major electricity transmission towers and grid sub-stations, official sources said.

The state government wanted technical experts to support the government in restoring power in Ganjam and Puri, two districts hit badly by the cyclone in the coastal region, the sources said.

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