With the cyclone Phailin rendering lakhs of people homeless in Odisha, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Wednesday demanded that the Centre allot at least three lakh additional houses under Indira Awas Yojana (IAY) and a package of Rs. 500 crore labour budget under MGNREGA.

Mr. Patnaik made these demands through two letters written to Union Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh.

“I would request you to consider allotting at least three lakh additional houses under IAY for rehabilitation of the homeless people in cyclone ravaged areas,” Mr. Patnaik wrote to Mr. Ramesh.

Certain relaxations in IAY norms were also required as collecting building materials would be difficult for poor beneficiaries in remote villages, he said adding the state government may be allowed to engage government/private agencies for quick construction of their houses.

This apart, the Chief Minister pointed out that in the BPL list of 1997 and households’ survey of 2002, some genuine poor people have been left out and they may be allowed to be allotted with IAY houses.

While seeking a special package of Rs. 500 crore labour budget over and above the budget already approved for the 2013-14 fiscal under MGNREGA, Mr. Patnaik said this would be helpful for immediate restoration of private property and public utilities and to protect livelihood of affected people.

In a bid to ensure speedy restoration, Mr. Patnaik wrote to Mr. Ramesh that the state may be allowed to maintain 60:40 labour to material ratio at district level instead of gram panchayat/block level to facilitate large scale construction of durable assets in the affected districts.

The Chief Minister also demanded enhancement of the maximum permissible 100 days of Wage Employment to 150 days for 2013-14 in the affected districts of Odisha.

Removal of debris, restoration of electricity in rural areas and use of machinery in restoration works may be allowed under MGNREGA, Mr. Patnaik said.