Odisha seeks Rs 500 crore for relief work

Odisha seeks Rs 500 crore for relief work

Odisha seeks Rs 500 crore for relief work

The Odisha government on Thursday sought an interim central assistance of Rs 500 crore for relief and restoration work in the districts recently hit by the cyclonic storm, Hudhud.

The help was sought through a letter written by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik to Prime Minister Narendra Modi— a copy of which has been circulated to the media.

Requesting the prime minister to provide the financial assistance from the National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF), Patnaik in his letter said though the death toll in the calamity was minimised due to high degree of preparedness, there has been extensive damage to private houses, agriculture and public infrastructure.

“I, therefore, would request you to release an interim relief of Rs 500 crore from the NDRF to government of Odisha to meet the immediate requirements for relief and restoration of public infrastructure”, the chief minister said. He added that his government would soon be presenting a memorandum to the Centre for further assistance after the completion of the ongoing assessment process.

 Significantly, the chief minister wrote the letter to prime minister a day after Congress, the principal opposition party in the state, strongly criticised the Patnaik administration for not seeking assistance from the Centre  though several days had already passed since cyclone hit the state.

Opposition heat

“The Patnaik administration perhaps is afraid of seeking central assistance from the Modi government fearing the ongoing CBI probe into chit fund scam in the state. The ruling Biju Janata Dal would have by hit the streets by now had there been an UPA government at the Centre”, the Pradesh Congress Committee president Jayadev Jena had said here on Wednesday.

He also  criticised  the prime minister  for announcing Rs 1000 crore assistance for Andhra Pradesh while remaining silent on the financial help to Odisha though both the states had been affected by the cyclonic storm.