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Naveen Patnaik writes to Rajnath Singh on Fani, seeks relaxation of norms for central assistance

Patnaik said the power infrastructure in Puri and parts of other coastal districts has been extensively damaged in the cyclone that killed at least 64 people.

Naveen Patnaik writes to Rajnath Singh on Fani, seeks relaxation of norms for central assistance
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Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Thursday wrote to Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, seeking relaxation of certain norms for central assistance to restore power in the cyclone-hit Puri district.

Patnaik said the power infrastructure in Puri and parts of other coastal districts has been extensively damaged in the cyclone that killed at least 64 people.

"...It is requested that the NDRF norms may be relaxed to provide for actual cost of restoration of the entire power infrastructure damaged by the extremely severe cyclonic storm Fani," Patnaik wrote.

According to the present NDRF norms for repair of damaged power infrastructure, Patnaik said assistance is given only for damaged conductors, poles and transformers up to the level of 11 KV.

"Even the scale of assistance for the admissible items is highly inadequate," he said.

Apart from large-scale damage to 11 KV lines, extensive damage has also been caused to 220KV/132KV towers and transmission lines, grid sub-stations and power transformers and 33 KV poles, lines and primary sub-stations.

"As per the preliminary report, the extent of damage due to Fani is estimated to be about Rs 1,160 crore," Patnaik said in the letter, adding that the transmission and distribution companies are not in a position to finance the restoration work.

As electricity is a basic necessity, the state government has undertaken restoration of the power infrastructure on a war footing from its own resources, the chief minister said.

"However, the scale of damage to the power infrastructure is far extensive to be taken care by the state government alone," he said.

Earlier, Odisha Chief Secretary AP Padhi, during his interaction with the visiting inter-ministerial Central team, had sought relaxation in the norms of the disaster assistance so that the loss in the power sector caused by Fani could be met.