Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Nov 18:
The eight-member Central team, headed by Gopal Dwibedy, Joint secretary in the Union Home department, arrived here today to assess damages caused in Odisha by Cyclone Hudhud. Soon after its arrival, the team left for the worst-affected districts of Koraput, Malkangiri, Gajapati and Rayagada after splitting into two groups.
While one group has left for Koraput and Malkangiri districts, the other has left for Gajapati and Rayagada districts to assess damages caused due to cyclone Hudhud that hit Odisha on October 12. Both the teams have already begun their assessment exercise in these districts, reports reaching here said.
The state government had submitted a memorandum to the Union Home ministry on November 12, seeking an assistance of Rs 777.12 crore for restoration and rehabilitation work in 22 districts affected by the very severe cyclonic storm Hudhud.
According to the Special relief commissioner Pradipta K Mohapatra out of the 22 districts affected by Cyclone Hudhud, extensive damage has been caused in 15 districts while seven other districts have been partially hit.
Prior to the state government’s submission of memorandum to the Union Home ministry, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had met Union Finance minister Arun Jaitley on November 5 in New Delhi and had demanded Rs 500 crore towards interim Central assistance for damages incurred due to cyclone Hudhud.
The Centre is yet to release Rs 399.88 crore of arrear dues of Central assistance on account of last year’s Cyclone Phailin.
Patnaik, during his talks with Jaitley, had asked for its immediate release since it has been more than a year since Cyclone Phailin made landfall in Odisha.
After completing their assessments of the damages caused due to Cyclone Hudhud, the members of the visiting central team will have a meeting with state chief secretary GC Pati tomorrow in the evening on their return from the field trip. The meeting is to be chaired by Pati.