Staff Reporter

Breaches to be repaired by June 15

BHUBANESWAR: With the monsoon round the corner and so also floods, the State government on Friday decided to double the quantum of relief material for victims of natural calamity.

A decision to this effect was taken in the State Natural Calamity Committee meeting chaired by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik at the Secretariat here.

Briefing media persons after the meeting, Revenue and Disaster Management Minister Manmohan Samal said that he per-head relief material would be increased from 500 gram to 1 kg for adult and from 250 gram to 500 gram for child. The per-head expenditure on account of providing cooked food for adult was doubled from Rs. 10 to Rs. 20 while for children it was raised from Rs. 8 to Rs. 15, Mr. Samal said.

Similarly, the State government said it was fully prepared to meet any emergency. “We have already procured 200 tonnes of polythene while breaches on different river and canal embankments in flood-prone areas will be repaired by June 15,” he said.

Moreover, some Rs. 60 crores was released from the Calamity Relief Fund and provided to different district administrations for spending on storing food material in panchayat godowns, Mr. Samal said.

Rehabilitation

In another major step, the government also decided to extend its rehabilitation package to those who would be affected by change of courses by rivers in different areas.

Besides, anti-cyclone infrastructures would be created in seven districts with an estimated expenditure of Rs. 609.40 crore. “We are providing 25 per cent share in the Central assisted programme,” Mr. Samal said.

According to the committee, as many as 34 persons lost their lives after being struck by lightning in 2008 while sunstroke deaths were put at 50.

The Minister said emphasis had been given to put in place early warning systems in all districts, which were traditionally ravaged by floods.

Secretaries of Revenue and Disaster Management Department, Agriculture and representatives of Orissa State Disaster Mitigation Authority were present.