Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Wednesday urged Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to release an advance of Rs. 1,000 crore over and above the corpus of Rs. 523 crore available in the State Disaster Response Fund for 2013-14 for relief and restoration work in the regions hit by cyclone Phailin.
“This will help us in meeting the immediate requirements. A detailed report in the form of a memorandum shall be presented soon after assessment of the damage. An early response in the matter will be highly appreciated,” Mr. Patnaik said in his letter. The storm and the subsequent floods caused damage and destruction in 17 districts. Of these, Ganjam, where the cyclone made its landfall, was the worst affected and there has been extensive damage to public and private property and agricultural crops, Mr. Patnaik said.
Twenty-one persons lost their lives in the cyclone, while 7 died in the floods as per the latest reports.
“Initial reports indicate that almost 4 lakh kutcha and semi-pucca houses have been completely or partially damaged. These need to be repaired on an urgent basis for which immediate assistance is required. Since flood waters are yet to recede, we have not assessed the full damage to the standing crop but it is quite extensive covering over 6 lakh hectares as per our initial reports,” the Chief Minister said.
According to Mr. Patnaik, the damage to the power systems in Ganjam alone would require more than Rs. 900 crore to be fully restored.
A major grid station was devastated and electrical infrastructure right from the extra high tension to the consumer level severely damaged throughout the district, Mr. Patnaik said.