Bhubaneswar, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday announced a Rs 1000 cr package for the cyclone-battered Odisha and said a Central team will soon visit the state to take stock of the situation.
The prime minister also hailed Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik for the preparation undertaken by the state in view of Cyclone Fani.
“Communication was very good between the state and the central government. I was also monitoring. The way people of Odisha complied with every instruction of government is praiseworthy,” PM Modi said.
This is the first meeting between the prime minister and the state’s chief minister after a heated election campaign in Odisha.
Meanwhile, the toll in the rarest of rare summer cyclonic storms ‘Fani’, the first to lash Odisha in 43 years, rose to 35 today while the critical infrastructure like power and water supply and telecom remained in complete shambles.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi reached here on Monday to visit districts hit by Cyclone Fani and take stock of the situation.
Mr Modi undertook an aerial survey of Puri, Khurda, Cuttack, Jagatsinghpur, Jajpur, Kendrapara, Bhadrak and Balasore district along with Oil and Petroleum minister and the governor.He also reviewed the relief and restoration work with the state government officials at the airport.
Banking services are in complete doldrums due to non-restoration of internet network and all the ATMs remain closed.
Union Minister of Petroleum & Natural Gas and Skill Development & Entrepreneurship Dharmendra Pradhan in a tweet had said, “Received Hon. PM Shri @narendramodi at the Bhubaneswar Airport. PM Modi will take stock of the situation and review relief and rescue operations in the aftermath of #CycloneFani. GOI is committed to intensify rehabilitation and relief efforts to help Odisha recover faster.”
Mr Pradhan, who undertook a visit to the cyclone-hit areas of Puri district, stated Mr Modi has said that all help for relief and restoration of the affected people will be provided.
The State Government has launched a massive restoration work across 10,000 villages and 52 urban areas ravaged by the storm that pounded coastal parts of the state, affecting nearly one crore people.
While several departments worked in tandem to manage the herculean rescue effort, the police department in the state has been getting a lot of appreciation for its dedicated and stellar service that saved the lives of thousands.
Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said,”Cyclone Fani is one of the rarest of rare summer cyclones to hit Odisha in 43 years. It is also one of the three to hit in the last 150 years. Odisha undertook the challenge to lead one of the biggest human evacuations in history, shifting 1.2 million people to safety.”
Mr Patnaik said, ‘Houses completely damaged will be constructed under housing schemes. Loss of agricultural & horticultural crops & animal resources, fisheries will be assessed &compensated accordingly. Tree plantations will be taken up in mission mode soon after relief and restoration.’
The districts of Puri and Khurda were the worst affected, the chief minister said, adding that Cuttack, Bhadrak, Kendrapara, Jagatsinghpur, Balasore, Mayurbhanj, Keonjhar, Dhenkanal and Nayagarh were also hit by the cyclone.
He also announced a relief package, saying that all families in Puri and parts of Khurda will get 50kg rice, Rs 2,000 and polythene sheets under the Food Security Act (FSA). For the “severely affected” category in Khurda, the FSA families will get a month’s quota of rice, Rs 1,000 and polythene sheets.
Meanwhile, disaster relief agencies faced challenges in providing food, medicine and drinking water to affected households, while many others were still inaccessible due to disruptions in telecommunications and road connectivity, the officials said.