With cyclone Phailin devastating the entire Ganjam district, the State Election Commission on Saturday announced the postponement of elections for the post of deputy mayor in Brahmapur Municipal Corporation and vice-chairpersons of 17 notified areas, official sources said.

A communication from the SEC said that the poll scheduled was changed in view of the request of the Ganjam Collector and District Magistrate. The commission announced October 29 as the new date for filing nomination papers for the posts and November 5 as schedule for the polling.

Earlier, elections for all the urban local bodies (ULBs) were held in Ganjam district on September 19.

Schools remain closed

Though schools across Odisha reopened on Saturday after Puja vacation, the district authorities of worst cyclone hit Ganjam decided to suspend classes till October 29, official sources said.

“We have decided to suspend classes for a week following the request made by the Collector of Ganjam district,” said Commissioner-cum-Secretary, School and Mass Education department, Usha Padhee.

Electricity and drinking water facilities are yet to be resumed in Ganjam, while debris are still in some of the school campuses.

“In view of the prevailing condition, we have deferred conduct of the classes though teachers will join schools from today,” Ms. Padhee said adding that the teachers will monitor restoration work in their respective schools.

About 300 of the 625 high schools and around 1300 out of 3000-odd upper primary schools in the district have been affected, according to the preliminary report of the district administration.

“The number of schools affected in the district are likely to be more, which can be known only after the real assessment”, District Education Officer (DEO) Santosh Kumar Patra said.

While the electricity and drinking water supply was disrupted, several school buildings have crumbled in the devastating cyclonic storm, sources said.

The exact loss incurred in the School and Mass Education department in the district due to the calamity are being assessed, sources said.