Protesters block roads, loot supplies; 30 arrested for creating trouble at distribution points

Even as the Odisha government faces the task of restoring power supply and communication services along the Gopalpur coast after Phailin disrupted services on October 12, politics over distribution of relief material is heating up in Ganjam and other districts of Odisha.The government was put on high alert regarding relief and resettlement measures following the cyclone and the consequent rains.

“We faced a double whammy – the cyclone first and the torrential rains later. Once relief and damage assessment is over, we want to concentrate on rehabilitation measures,” District Collector Krishan Kumar said.

However, Pradesh Congress Committee president Jaydeb Jena and several other Opposition leaders accused the government of not providing relief materials in time to the cyclone and flood victims.

Revenue and Disaster Management Minister S.N. Patra categorically denied the charge saying no one should politicise the relief issue at a time when people were in distress.

In some districts of the State, roads were blocked by protesters and relief material was looted.

30 politicians arrested

“We have arrested 30 politicians on the charge of creating trouble at the time of relief distribution. We found that one of them had four criminal cases against him,” a senior official said on condition of anonymity.