Bhubaneswar, Oct 29:
The inter-ministerial team from the Centre which arrived here Monday split into two separate teams and visited the cyclone and flood affected areas of Ganjam, Balasore and Mayurbhanj districts for the second day today.
A seven-member team, headed by a joint-secretary in the Union Home ministry Rashmi Goyal, which had arrived in Ganjam Monday visited the worst affected Chamakhandi, Rambha, Ganjam, Chhatrapur and Gopalpur – places where Cyclone Phailin crossed the coast to assess the damage caused by the twin natural calamities. The team had earlier on Monday visited Brahmapur town, Kanishi and Brahmapur University.
Local people and people’s representatives, including legislators, have expressed their anguish as the team did not take a first hand account of the tragedy from them and instead relied on discussions held with the district administration about the damage and loss caused in the natural calamities.
The other team led by Sanjay Lohia, joint secretary in Agriculture ministry, visited Baripada town and several villages in Shyamakhunta and Badasahi blocks which were flooded by Budhabalang and Palapala rivers.
This team however, met villagers who demanded permanent measures to deal with floods and sought alternative livelihood measures as their crops were destroyed in the calamity.
The team told the media that during their visit, they had seen several mud houses damaged, water logging of PDS warehouses and inundation of revenue inspector’s office. The team also inspected NH-60 as people complained of water logging because of the highway apart from visiting Baleswar sadar and Remuna blocks in Baleswar district.
The state Government will soon be sending a memo to the Centre seeking quick steps for construction of channels through the highway to facilitate release of water as a permanent solution said Aravind Padhee, Revenue Divisional Commissioner (central).