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Cyclone Phailin: villagers block Patnaik’s convoy

A man on a cycle crosses a street with uprooted trees fallen by Cyclone Phailin in Chhatrapur in Ganjam district on Monday.  

Villagers on Monday blocked the official convoy of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik who was on a visit to coastal areas of cyclone-hit Odisha to oversee relief work.

The incident took place in Agastinuagaon village where close to 50 people blocked the Chief Minister’s route by putting wooden logs and uprooted trees besides stopping 10 other official vehicles, including that of the DIG of Gangjam range, to prevent them from proceeding further.

However, five vehicles including that of Mr. Patnaik managed to come out and proceeded further.

The locals were angry as Mr. Patnaik’s official convoy didn’t make a stop at the multi-purpose cyclone (relief) centre in this village.

“I understand their grievances and concerns and we are trying to help them out,” Anurag Thakur, DIG Gangjam told PTI.

The victims also claimed that there was no adequate supply of food and water in the relief centres.

The Chief Minister had earlier visited Bankapalli relief centre in the same district where he was greeted with angry protests by the inhabitants of the camp who demanded food and water.

Mr. Patnaik also visited Nalianuagaon before his convoy was disrupted. The Chief Minister is scheduled to visit other relief centres in Gangjam, Behrampur, Gopalpur areas.

Later Behrampur MP Sant Mahapatra, who was travelling with Mr. Patnaik, came back at the protest spot to pacify the villagers and protesters.

He assured them that all the relief material would reach them soon and the Chief Minister would also come to meet them in the next few days.

“The people are angry because the Chief Minister didn’t stop at this place but I have assured them that he will be back,” Mr. Mahapatra said.

He, however, ruled out that Mr. Patnaik would come to the spot on Monday as he was unwell and had a tight schedule. Mr. Patnaik later returned to Bhubhaneshwar.

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Printable version | Aug 2, 2021 2:09:31 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/cyclone-phailin-villagers-block-patnaiks-convoy/article5233336.ece

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