Bhubaneswar: Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Saturday announced a compensation package for the cyclone and flood-hit people of three South Odisha districts.
Talking to mediapersons after presiding over a high-level meeting at the State Secretariat here in the evening after an aerial survey of the affected districts of Ganjam, Gajapati and Rayagada earlier in the day, he said the cyclonic storm has rendered maximum damage to Ganjam and Gajapati districts as well as the Gunupur sub-division of Rayagada district.
“What I have found was that there has been extensive damage to the agricultural crops, the roads, the trees and the energy sector. All the affected families of Ganjam, Gajapati and the Gunupur sub-division of Rayagada district will be given relief for 15 days. Connectivity will be restored in all cut-off areas within the next 48 hours. Electricity supply to 90 per cent of the affected areas will be ensured in the next 48 hours and the remaining 10 per cent areas in 3-5 days. Safe drinking water will be provided in all block areas within 48 hours. All tube wells will be repaired by tomorrow. In the next 24 hours, the water supply will be restored in all urban areas. Generators will be used wherever required. House damage and crop damage assessment will start once the immediate relief and restoration measures are completed,” the Chief Minister told mediapersons.
He said an average relief assistance of Rs 3000 will be provided to a four-member family. For each elderly person and the child, free relief food of Rs 60 and Rs 45 respectively will be provided daily.
Asked to comment on the media survey report that he was the most popular chief minister in the country, Naveen said: “I am humbled by the assessment and my gratitude what I owe this to and for which I am very grateful to the people of our state who have always showered their blessings on us.”
Replying to the allegations by the BJP that the claim of the state government that there has been zero casualties in the cyclonic storm was false as more than 30 people had died, the Chief Minister said this is the single largest calamity after the cyclone Phailin in 1997. The wind velocity of the very severe cyclonic storm Titli was more than 160 kmph.
“The incident of the landslide in Gajapati district has been most unfortunate. I extend my deepest condolences to the bereaved families. If the Opposition tries to criticize, they can do so. We are busy with the relief and rehabilitation works,” he pointed out.
Asked whether the state government will seek Central assistance for the calamity, he said the state government will put forth its demand after it completes the assessment of the damage.