Bhubaneswar: Expressing relief over the minimal casualty due to cyclone Phailin, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Sunday identified rehabilitation as the foremost challenge for his government.
"With your cooperation, we have successfully evacuated almost nine lakh people and minimised loss of human life during the cyclone," Patnaik said.
With seven deaths in comparison to the loss of nearly 10,000 lives in the super cyclone in 1999, he said "I think, we have been successful in minimising the loss of precious lives."
Patnaik said rehabilitation is a big challenge for the state government as property valued at several crore of rupees was lost in the cyclone.
"I will see to it, how soon we can get people rehabilitated. I am sure, with your active support, this should also be possible smoothly. Thank you very much once again," the Chief Minister said.
Asserting that Odisha undertook one of the largest evacuations in the country, Patnaik said, "The impact of the cyclone will of course die down with the passage of time. Normalcy will come back soon. Our primary responsibility was to protect the valuable lives of our citizens."
He said people had been urged not to panic and cooperate with the state government`s efforts. "I thank all of you for honouring my request."
A senior official said it was expected that national and state highways and roads connecting district headquarters would be cleared by evening, as also power and water supply in Bhubaneswar.
Electricity was restored in the state headquarters hospital and the SCB Medical College and Hospital.
He said over 2,34,000 shelters would be provided to the people.