Activists of the Communist Party of India(Marxist) staged a demonstration in the city on Saturday demanding that the Central government should declare devastation caused by cyclone Phailin and consequent floods as national calamity.
Thousands of people who took part in the demonstration demanded that those affected by the twin-calamities be paid compensation for the losses they had suffered and necessary support be extended to the victims for restoration of their livelihoods.
The demonstrators who came from different parts of the State further demanded that an all-party committee be formed to oversee the restoration works in the areas affected by the cyclone and floods.
Claiming that the twin-calamities had caused losses amounting to over Rs. 20,000 crore, the CPI(M) as well as the leaders who addressed the gathering demanded that the Centre should release a sum of Rs. 5,000 crore from the National Disaster Response Fund without delay.
The party leaders further demanded that the farmers whose crop had been damaged in the cyclone and flood be compensated adequately, and all the affected families be provided essential commodities, and employment under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme for 200 days.
The leaders further demanded that the Chief Minister should lead an all-party delegation to New Delhi to appraise the Centre about the need for additional Central assistance to help the affected population.
Among others who addressed the rally include CPI(M) State Committee secretary Janardan Pati, and senior leaders Ali Kishore Patnaik, Jagannath Mishra, Santosh Das, Bishnu Mohanty, Dushmanta Das, Sishir Hui and Suresh Panigrahi.
It was announced at the end of the rally that a delegation of the party leaders would go to New Delhi on December 5 to urge the Centre to declare the disaster as national calamity and release Rs. 5,000 crore for restoration work in the affected areas.