Reported by Chinmaya Dehury
Bhubaneswar, July 26:
Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik today urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to direct the high level committee, which recommended an assistance of Rs 460.38 crore for reconstruction of areas devastated by Cyclone Phailin last year, to reconsider the matter and sanction the state’s just demand of Rs 5832.50 crore.
“The State Government had quickly submitted two Memoranda to the Government of India seeking central assistance of Rs.5832.50 crore towards relief and immediate restoration of damaged infrastructure as per the Government of India norms. However, the High Level Committee has approved a net assistance of only Rs.460.38 crore from NDRF in favour of the State,” said the chief minister in a letter to Modi.
The letter said that many important aspects have been ignored by HLC including gratuitous relief, temporary shelter provided to the people and agriculture input subsidy to affected farmers.
Patnaik said that when the government submitted the memorandum, a quick assessment had been made regarding the requirement of funds under different heads. “However, after final assessment, the actual amount as per the Norms of Assistance from SDRF/NDRF have been communicated to the Ministry of Home Affairs on 10 June, which may be treated as the Supplementary Memorandum,” said the chief minister.
Giving details of expenditure arising out of Phailin and subsequent floods in the state, Patnaik said that while the government had incurred expenditure of Rs.377.431 crore in providing food assistance to a huge number of people, the HLC had approved only an amount of Rs.32 crore.
Similarly, the State has incurred an expenditure of Rs.469.79 crore towards payment of agriculture input subsidy to the affected farmers for crop loss to the extent of 50% and above in 7.81 lakh hectare crop land. Against this requirement, the HLC has approved only Rs.248.47 crore.
Besides, the State has procured 4196 MT of temporary shelter materials (i.e. LDPE sheets) at a cost of Rs.60.04 crore and provided them to the families whose houses were damaged due to Cyclone Phailin and floods but no amount has been approved by the HLC towards this expenditure, the chief minister pointed out.
Thus, leaving aside other items, the State Government is entitled to get an additional amount of Rs.621.79 crore on these heads, Patnaik said.