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BJD, 8 parties meet Guv, submit demand for Rs 5000 cr Central assistance


OST Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Dec 30:

Nine political parties including the ruling BJD today submitted a memorandum to the Governor of Odisha urging him to ask the Central government to release Rs 5000 crore for the rehabilitation and restoration work in the cyclone and flood affected areas in the state.

‘The Union government should undertake the major responsibility of rehabilitation and reconstruction work and send adequate assistance to the state to the tune of at least Rs 5000 crore. Besides, the calamity in Odisha should be declared as National Calamity,” said the memorandum.

BJD general secretary Narendra Swain said that the Governor has assured them that he would request the Centre to take necessary action in this regard.

The leaders of the nine parties – BJD, BJP, CP I(M), CPI, Forward Block, NCP, Samajwadi Party, BSP and RPI – also proposed an amendment to the National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF) norms based on which changes could be made in the State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF).

It is to be noted that the political parties had decided to meet the Governor at a meeting held here on December 27.

Expressing dissatisfaction over the Centre’s failure to depute any senior Minister to visit the state to take stock of the losses caused by the cyclone, CPI (M) state secretary Janardan Pati said the role of the Central government after the post-cyclone period has been ‘deplorable’.

It is to be noted that the state government, in two separate memoranda to the Centre, had demanded Rs 5832.50 crore for assistance from NDRF.

However, the Centre has released only Rs 1000 crore so far.