Bhubaneswar: Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde on Sunday announced that the Centre would release Rs 915 crore for reconstruction work in Odisha following Cyclone Phailin.
"The decision to release the amount was taken by a high power committee of the National Disaster Mitigation Authority under the Union Home Ministry three days back," Shinde said during his one-day visit to the state on the occasion of the 9th Raising Day of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF).
The minister had a word of praise for the Odisha government and the NDRF for successfully handling the devastating cyclone that struck Odisha last October by launching "unprecedented relief and rescue operation".
Shinde said the Centre had accepted the recommendations of an inter-ministerial central committee which had assessed the widespread damage caused by the cyclone and post-cyclone flood in the state.
Describing the NDRF and state Odisha Disaster Rapid Action Force (ODRAF) as a unique combination of civil defence force, the minister said better coordination between the Centre and the state administration and machineries had saved hundreds of lives in Odisha and elsewhere.
He said the role of the NDRF and SDRAF was ever expanding as many nations were facing not only natural disasters, but also industrial mishaps like the Fukushima nuclear plant blast.
He announced that two more NDRF battalions would be raised, one in Uttarakhand and another in the Northeast very soon, while saying that other states would also have them in future.
Shinde assured Krishna Chadhury, DG, NDRF of instituting a national award for disaster mitigation in order to raise the morale of civil defence forces in the country.
Responding to a request from the DG, NDRF, the minister said funds would be provided for additional capacity building when proposals in this regard were submitted to him.
State Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik urged Shinde to enhance the technical capability of NDRF by more capacity building.
During the raising day ceremony eleven NDRF personnel were felicitated for their significant contribution towards disaster mitigation.
They were Asst Commandant Vijender Singh, Sub- Inspector Anil Ku Guleria, Driver Prakash, S Satyamoorthy, DL Mhaski, Rajesh Syamlal Singh, udhakar G Atkare, Ram Briksh Yadav and Ratan Chand.