Bhubaneswar: Even as the extremely severe cyclonic storm Fani went on a devastation trail in Odisha causing losses of thousands of crores of rupees, the Centre has released scanty funds to the state against its demands.
In a statement tabled before the State Assembly by the revenue and disaster management department it was revealed that till May 26, 2019 the state government got only 15 per cent of the total funds as demanded by them to the Centre under the National Disaster Relief Fund (NDRF) and National Calamity Contingency Fund (NCCF).
The figures came to the fore when a question was poised to the department by legislator Mohan Chandra Majhi over disaster funds given by the Centre to Odisha since 2000. In a written reply to the question, minister Sudam Marndi claimed that against the demands of the state, Centre had released merely 15 per cent of the funds from NDRF and NCCF to combat the aftermaths of cyclone Fani in Odisha.
The data claims that an amount of Rs 5227.68 crore was sought by the government from the Centre for relief and rehabilitation work post Fani. However till May 26, only Rs 788.88 crore (15 per cent) was released by them from their disaster funds to Odisha.
Not only that, a comparison of natural disasters and the amounts sought by the state and released by the Centre since 2000 revealed that the Centre had released 12 per cent of the disaster funds compared to the demands made by the state government from time to time.
The statistics submitted to Odisha Assembly reveals that in 2013 for the cyclone Phailin and floods thereafter a total of Rs 5832.50 crore was sought from the Centre which released just Rs 1149.83 crore. Similarly, the sanctions of funds for major disasters in Odisha often saw lesser disbursement of disaster funds from the Centre against state demands.
The overall data claims that funds for major cyclones like Hudhud, Phailin, Titli and others saw lesser disbursement of funds besides several other natural disasters including hailstorms and floods. The data since 2000 claims that Odisha demanded a total of Rs 38,094.51 crore over last 19 years while the Centre released only Rs 4,572.97 crore which works out to just 12 per cent.