Reported by Chinmaya Dehury/Edited by Sandeep Sahu
Bhubaneswar, Nov 1:
Embarrassed by the praise heaped on the state government by the Inter Ministerial Central Team (IMCT) for its handling of Cyclone Phailin and the floods that followed in its immediate aftermath, the state Congress on Friday said the team has no authority to make such comment as it had visited the state only to assess the damage caused due to the twin calamities.
“The Central team is not authorized to praise the state government without knowing the ground realities. The statement of the team is baseless and false. I think it had a conducted tour with all comforts provided during the assessment of damage following cyclone and floods,” said PCC media committee chairman Narasingha Mishra at a press conference here.
Condemning the Central team’s statement, Mishra said the party would certainly draw the attention of the Home Ministry to the Committee going beyond its brief.
“Though the Baleswar district collector and the special relief commissioner went on record admitting that the state government was taken by surprise by the floods that followed after the devastating cyclone, it is surprising that the Central team found everything was well-managed and relief materials provided in time. While the team had no time to assess the loss and damage caused by nature’s fury, but it apparently had plenty of time to collect information about the evacuation by the state government,” said a sarcastic Mishra.
IMCT, led by Rashmi Goel, joint secretary, Union ministry of Home Affairs, had visited the state for four days before returning to New Delhi on Thursday. Before leaving the state, Goel had said many lives had been saved due the state government’s evacuation drive ahead of the cyclone’s landfall near Gopalpur on October 12. She added the state government had earned praise from both national and international agencies for proper handling of the calamity.