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Odisha Seeks Fund for Relief, Restoration Work

Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik Thursday urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to sanction interim assistance of Rs.500 crore for relief and restoration work after the severe cyclonic storm Hudhud hit the place on October 12 annd left the state with a trail of destruction.

Patnaik, seeking help, said in a letter to Modi, "I would request you (Modi) to release an interim assistance of Rs.500 crore out of National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF) for the state to meet the requirements of relief and restoration of damaged public infrastructure."

The state has been reportedly affected with massive destruction to public property and other infrastructure in southern and coastal Odisha. Patnaik, however, assured that a report will be submitted regarding the damage caused after the assessment. He said, "A detailed report in the form of memorandum will be presented soon after the assessment is completed."

Patnaik said the cyclone has severely affected the southern and coastal districts of Odisha. "However, my government ensured adequate preparedness in due time as a result the human casualty was restricted to three of which two were due to a boat accident."

He said that over 2.47 lakh people were evacuated from their homes to safe shelters before the cyclone could hit the state.

Meanwhile, Patnaik mentioned that even though the toll was restricted due to early preparedness, there is extensive damage to houses, crops and public infrastructure.

He said the State Disaster Response Fund corpus for fiscal 2014-15 is almost empty as Rs.107 crore, which was allotted in advance, was spent on cyclone Phailin related expenditure in 2013.

He said, "Besides, a major portion of the fund has been spent in providing agriculture input subsidy to farmers who sustained losses due to the cyclone and on relief and restoration measures on account of floods that Odisha faced during June-August period this year."

Cyclone Phailin had caused havoc in the state in October last year.

(With inputs from IANS)

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