Bhubaneswar: Centre will provide technical assistance to cyclone Fani-hit Odisha for restoration of power, telecom and housing sectors in the state on war-footing.
National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) team leader Kamal Kisore told reporters Thursday the Centre will extend all requisite technical assistance to restore power, telecom and housing sectors, which were severely battered by cyclonic storm Fani that hit Puri coast May 3.
Kishore who met the Secretaries of concerned state government departments said he along with his team visited Khurda, Satpada and Puri villages in the past three days.
“We found that steps taken by the state government during the cyclone were effective and the ways they adopted to tackle the calamity was appreciated globally,” he said. The cyclone battered 14 districts, killed 64 people and caused a total loss of Rs 9,336.26 crore, the state government said recently.
“The state has properly utilized the cyclone shelters built under National Cyclone Risk Mitigation Programme to house the affected people. The state also engaged 200 Aapada Mitra volunteers in each district affected by the cyclone.”
The four-member NDMA team met Odisha Chief Secretary AP Padhi, Special Relief Commissioner B P Sethi and other government officials before wrapping up its visit to the Fani hit areas along the coast.
“We need to do a lot in the power sector” that has been worst hit in the affected areas, Kishore said.
Padhi said the NDMA has identified three sectors – power, telecom and housing – to provide technical assistance to the state in the restoration work. The NDMA will suggest how to put in place a disaster resilient power infrastructure and new housing designs in the coastal districts, he said.
This apart, the NDMA was urged to issue instructions to telecom service providers to upgrade their apparatus in the calamity prone districts, Padhi said. The Chief Secretary said the funds of Rs 1,000 crore released after declaration by Prime Minister Narendra Modi was exhausted he requested the NDMA team for early release of Rs 5200 crore from the NDRF. Odisha was seeking assistance of about Rs 5,200 crore from the NDRF immediately to meet the expenditure on the ongoing relief and restoration works in cyclone-hit areas.
During its visit, NDMA team reviewed the restoration work in Bhubaneswar and parts of Khurda district besides making an on the spot inquiry in the worst hit Puri district.
The Puri district administration has submitted a report to NDMA team on the damage caused by the cyclone Fani.
The damage report mentioned loss of agriculture over 33 lakh hectare, 2,78,762 houses, 160 school buildings, 564 classrooms and 1000 fishing boats, officials said.