Opposition alleges state failed to provide relief to cyclone victims
Bhubaneswar/Berhampur: Opposition parties on Wednesday accused the BJD government in Odisha of "failing" to provide relief to cyclone and flood victims, with the Congress asking the party-ruled states to adopt calamity-hit districts for speedy reconstruction and rehabilitation.
"I have told Sonia Gandhi that Congress-ruled states should adopt districts hit by cyclone Phailin and resultant floods to ensure speedy reconstruction and rehabilitation work," said Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee President Jaydev Jena, who visited the worst-affected Ganjam district.
Jena said he has also requested Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to visit disaster-affected areas of Odisha.
Jena and Leader of Opposition in state assembly Bhupinder Singh said the state government has "miserably failed" in carrying out relief operations properly, particularly in the worst-hit Ganjam district.
People are yet to get relief in many areas even four days after the cyclone made a landfall on Saturday night and the state government failed to restore supply of electricity and water, they alleged.
Demanding a special package for the victims, the Congress leaders said crop loans must be waived as farmers and fishermen are badly hit by the calamity.
Stating that the state government had no role in minimising human casualty, the OPCC chief said people on their own moved to safe places well in time due to awareness.
Expressing similar views, BJP national general secretary Dharmendra Pradhan said accurate forecast by Met department and information given by media played a major role in creating awareness among people in coastal areas who saved themselves by moving to safe places voluntarily.
However, in the aftermath of the cyclone the state government "failed in discharging its responsibility of giving relief to calamity victims and taking quick steps for restoration and reconstruction works," he said.
Echoing the views, the CPI also slammed the state government, accusing it of "failing" to provide relief materials and essential items in many cyclone hit areas in Ganjam, Puri and Jagatsinghpur districts.
In a statement, CPI state secretary Dibkar Nayak demanded immediate steps for restoration of electricity and water supply in areas affected by cyclone and resultant floods.