Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Oct 16:
Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik today wrote to prime minister Narendra Modi seeking an assistance of Rs 500 crore from the National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF) towards damages caused in the state by Cyclone Hudhud.
The letter mentions of extensive damages to infrastructure, agriculture and houses in the state due to Cyclone Hudhud that crossed the state on October 12 after making a landfall near Visakhapatnam in neighbouring Andhra Pradesh.
The chief minister in his letter also said that the state will be submitting a memorandum to the Centre after completion of a final estimate of the damages.
Patnaik said the cyclone has severely affected the southern and coastal districts of Odisha.
“However, my government ensured adequate preparedness in due time as a result the human casualty was restricted to three of which two were due to a boat accident,” he said in his letter.
He said over 2.47 lakh people were evacuated to safe shelters before the cyclone could hit the state.
Patnaik said though the toll was restricted due to early preparedness, there is extensive damage to houses, crops and public infrastructure.
He said the State Disaster Response Fund corpus for fiscal 2014-15 is almost empty as Rs.107 crore allotted in advance was spent on cyclone Phailin related expenditure last year.
“Besides, a major portion of the fund has been spent in providing agriculture input subsidy to farmers who sustained losses due to the cyclone and on relief and restoration measures on account of floods that Odisha faced during June-August period this year,” Patnaik’s letter said.
It may be mentioned here that Prime Minister Narendra Modi after making an aerial survey of cyclone hit Andhra Pradesh and Odisha had announced an interim announcement of Rs 1,000 crore for Andhra Pradesh while making no such announcement for Odisha, drawing flak from the Congress in the state.