Bhubaneswar: Thirteen days after cyclone Fani devastated coastal Odisha, power, telecommunication and banking services still continue to remain in disarray in the rural pockets.
Power, mobile connectivity and banking services have been restored in many urban areas including Bhubaneswar and Cuttack. But, the situation remains bleak in the rural areas heavily battered by the calamity.
Power has been restored in Bhubaneswar, Cuttack and Puri town including its Grand Road. There is absolute darkness in the rural pockets of Khurda, Puri and Cuttack districts where banking and telecom services are in jeopardy.
According to the state government figures, 1,44,333 consumers in rural areas are connected to power stations of Bhubaneswar, Cuttack, Paradip and Jagatsinghpur divisions who have not received power supply so far. About 85,790 consumers in the peripheral areas of the twin cities are still living without power. Power has not been restored to 58,543 consumers in Jagatsinghpur district.
As many as 19,184 consumers in CDD-II and 27,535 in CED divisions of Cuttack district are still in darkness. Nearly, 27,528 households under BCDD-II and 11,543 under BED divisions are yet to get the power restored to their households.
Similarly, 35,215 and 23,328 consumers under JED and PED divisions of Jagatsinghpur district respectively are awaiting restoration of power supply. The situation in Puri district is worst as the domestic power restoration work is yet to begin.
Briefing reporters here, Information and Public Relations (I&PR) secretary Sanjay Singh said after illumination of Badadanda and Shrimandir in Puri, work is in full swing to provide electricity connection to the consumers.
Singh said over 500 teams of workers, technicians and linemen are working round-the-clock to restore power supply in Puri and Konark.
Speaking about telecommunication, he said all master switching centres have been restored. While 78 per cent of mobile tower coverage in Khurda has been restored, 52 per cent coverage has been ensured in Puri district, 88 per cent in Cuttack district, 82 per cent in Bhubaneswar city, 45 per cent in Puri town and 85 per cent in Cuttack town. All block headquarters are covered by BSNL mobile network.
Bankers have been instructed to open their brick and mortar branches within a couple of days and resume ATM services in the next four days. All insurance companies have been advised to make prompt settlement of claims with simplified versions of documents, he pointed out.
Cyclone Fani has damaged electricity network and internet services. The EPF and ESI consumers have faced difficulties in submitting their dues and returns. On the request of state government, the Centre has extended the date for EPF return filing and ESI return filing up to June 15.
As many 2,571 large animals including cows, buffalos and bullocks and 2,804 small animals like goat and sheep and 41 lakh poultry birds have perished in the cyclone, the secretary said adding, all carcasses have been disposed of.
The government has conducted 3,601 veterinary camps in which 2,56,593 animals have been treated and 6,92,893 animals vaccinated.
Asked about the spread of epidemics like diarrhoea in some pockets of Puri and Bramhagiri, Singh said, “So far no such case has come to our notice. Some stray cases cannot be treated as epidemic.”
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