Odisha seeks Rs 500 crore for relief work

 Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik Thursday urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to sanction interim assistance of Rs 500 crore for relief and restoration work following the damage caused in the state by cyclone Hudhud.

IANS| Last Updated: Oct 16, 2014, 17:43 PM IST

Bhubaneswar: Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik Thursday urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to sanction interim assistance of Rs 500 crore for relief and restoration work following the damage caused in the state by cyclone Hudhud.

The cyclonic storm that hit the state Oct 12 has caused massive damage to public property and other infrastructure in southern and coastal Odisha.

"I would request you (Modi) to release an interim assistance of Rs.500 crore out of NDRF (National Disaster Response Fund) for the state to meet the requirements of relief and restoration of damaged public infrastructure," Patnaik said in a letter to Modi.

"A detailed report in the form of memorandum will be presented soon after the assessment is completed," he said.

Patnaik said the cyclone has severely affected the southern and coastal districts of Odisha. "However, my government ensured adequate preparedness in due time as a result the human casualty was restricted to three of which two were due to a boat accident."

He said over 2.47 lakh people were evacuated to safe shelters before the cyclone could hit the state.

Patnaik said though the toll was restricted due to early preparedness, there is extensive damage to houses, crops and public infrastructure.

He said the State Disaster Response Fund corpus for fiscal 2014-15 is almost empty as Rs.107 crore allotted in advance was spent on cyclone Phailin related expenditure last year.

"Besides, a major portion of the fund has been spent in providing agriculture input subsidy to farmers who sustained losses due to the cyclone and on relief and restoration measures on account of floods that Odisha faced during June-August period this year," he said.

Cyclone Phailin had caused havoc in the state in October 2013.