New Delhi: The Union government has given Odisha short shrift while approving Central assistance of Rs 7,214.03 crore to six states and a Union Territory affected by natural calamities.
According to an announcement made by the Ministry of Home Affairs, Tuesday, a high-level committee chaired by Home Minister Rajnath Singh has approved an additional Central aid from the National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF) of Rs 317.44 crore to Himachal Pradesh (floods & landslides); Rs 191.73 crore to Uttar Pradesh (floods); Rs 900.40 crore to Andhra Pradesh (drought); Rs 127.60 crore to Gujarat (drought); Rs 949.49 crore to Karnataka (drought); Rs 4,714.28 crore to Maharashtra (drought); and Rs 13.09 crore to the Union Territory of Puducherry (cyclone).
Despite several requests made by the Odisha government, the Central government has not paid much heed to the state which had been severely affected by the Cyclone Titli. Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had written a letter to the Home Minister last December seeking immediate financial assistance for undertaking repair and restoration works in the cyclone-hit districts.
In the letter, Patnaik said that Titli which lashed Odisha in October and the subsequent flood and landslides had severely affected a population of 60.31 lakh in 128 blocks spread over 17 districts.
The state government had also submitted a memorandum to the Centre seeking an aid of Rs 2,023.13 crore against total requirement of Rs 2,779.32 crore for relief and restoration work.
However, the Union government has approved only Rs 1023.59 crore from the NDRF to Odisha.
Reacting to the development, BJD MP Prabhas Singh said, “This is very unfortunate. The Union government is always neglecting Odisha and people of the state. They are showing step motherly attitude towards the state. We will raise this issue in the Parliament in upcoming session.”