October 16, 2014

braving-hudhudOdisha Channel Bureau Bhubaneswar, Oct 16: Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Thursday wrote a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking an interim assistance of Rs.500 crore out of National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF) to meet the immediate requirements for relief and restoration of the damage to public infrastructure caused by cyclone Hudhud on Sunday.A detailed report in the form of a memorandum will be presented to the Centre soon after the assessment is completed, Patnaik said in his two-page letter to Modi.Claiming that the death toll could be restricted due to high degree of preparedness, Patnaik said that there was extensive damage to private houses, agriculture and public infrastructure.The detailed assessment is going on, he added.Patnaik pointed out that the State Disaster Response Fund corpus of Odisha for the current year 2014-15 is almost empty.“Funds to the extent of Rs.1 07 crore was allotted in advance and spent for cyclone Phailin related expenditure last year.Besides, a major portion of the balance fund of this year’s SDRF corpus has been spent towards liabilities of cyclone Phailin especially in providing agriculture input subsidy to farmers who sustained crop loss due to Phailin and on relief and restoration measures on account of floods that the State faced during June-Aug this year.Many claims relating to these previous calamities are still pending due to paucity of funds in the SDRF,” Patnaik said.The very severe cyclonic storm Hudhud that made landfall near Vishakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh close to Odisha on October 12, 2014 has severely affected the southern and central coastal districts of Odisha, Patnaik said in his letter to Modi.“However, my Government ensured adequate preparedness in due time as a result of which human casualty could be restricted to three, out of which two were due to unfortunate incidents of boat accident during the evacuation process.”More than 2.47 lakh people were evacuated to safe shelters from the areas likely to be hit by the cyclone to save their lives, Patnaik said.Sixteen units of National Disaster Response Force, ten units of Odisha Disaster Rapid Action Force and 1265 fire services personnel were deployed to undertake rescue operation and all other required preparedness measures were undertaken to tackle the situation, he added.

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