Odisha seeks financial assistance from Centre

Odisha government on Thursday sought Rs 500 crore as interim assistance from the National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF) for relief and restoration of damaged infrastructure in cyclone Hudhud.

Bhubaneswar: Odisha government on Thursday sought Rs 500 crore as interim assistance from the National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF) for relief and restoration of damaged infrastructure in cyclone Hudhud.

The demand was made in a letter written by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

"I would request you to release an interim assistance of Rs 500 crore out of NDRF to government of Odisha to meet the immediate requirements for relief and restoration of the damage to public infranstructure," Patnaik said in his letter.

He said a detailed report in the form of a memorandum would be presented soon after the assessment was complete.

Stating that the 'Hudhud' made landfall near Vishakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh close to Odisha on October 12, Patnaik said it had severely affected the southern and central coastal districts of the state.

However, the state government ensured adequate preparedness in due time as a result of which human casualty could be restricted to three, out of which two were due to boat capsize during the evacuation process, the chief minister said.

More than 2.47 lakh people were evacuated to safe shelters from the areas likely to be hit by the cyclone to save their lives, he said.

Sixteen units of National Disaster Response Force, ten units of Odisha Disasster Rapid Action Force and 1265 Fire Services personnel were deployed to undertake rescue operation and all other required preparedness measures were undertaken to tackle the situation, he said.

Even though the death toll could be restricted due to high degree of preparedness, there was extensive damange to private houses, agriculture and public infrastructure. The detailed assessment was going on, the letter said.

The SDRF corpus of the state for the current year was almost empty, he said, adding fund to the extent of Rs 107 crore was allotted in advance and spent for cyclone Phailin related expenditrure last year.

Besides, he said a major portion of the balance fund of this year's SDRF corpus had been spent towards liabilities of cyclone Phailin especially in providing agriculture input subsidy to farmers who sustained crop loss due to Phailin and on relief and restoration measures.  

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