Bhubaneswar, Oct 30:
Accusing the state government of creating a hype over its preparations for Cyclone Phailin, the Congress on Wednesday said it had failed miserably to provide relief materials to the affected people.
The party urged Governor SC Jamir to direct the state government for formation of All Party Committees at state and district levels to oversee relief operations in cyclone and flood affected areas.
In a memorandum submitted to the Governor today, PCC president Jaydev Jena demanded waiver of agricultural loan taken by the affected farmers and reimbursement of the total expenditure incurred on raising crops by those who have not taken loans.
The PCC chief also demanded free electricity to affected farmers for five years, soft bank loans of up to Rs 50,000 for house building to benefit affected non-BPL category people, a massive afforestation programme across coastal areas and setting up of a technical experts’ group to study the recurring flood in Subarnarekha river and suggest measures for permanent flood control
The Congress memorandum took a dig at the BJD government led by Naveen Patnaik for allegedly hoodwinking the people of Odisha to get political mileage. “The state government’s claim about evacuation is exaggerated and publicity oriented. More than half the evacuees had moved to safer places on their own because of the horrifying experience of the last 1999 Super Cyclone and round – the – clock media propaganda,” said Jena.
The party also sought to corner the ruling party for distributing the relief materials on political considerations.
“We sincerely hope the state government will rise above political considerations and pull up its socks to address itself fully to disaster mitigation measures failing which the Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee will be forced to launch mass agitations to realize minimum needs for the affected people,” read the memorandum.