Bhubaneswar: The Centre’s Inter-ministerial team, which assessed cyclone-caused damage in Odisha for three days, has praised the Odisha government regarding alertness and timely distribution of relief materials to the affected people.
A high-level meeting between Odisha government and the Inter-ministerial team of the Centre was held at the State Secretariat here to discuss Cyclone FANI damage assessment following field visits to various cyclone-affected areas.
Central Team leader & additional secretary of the Ministry of Home Affairs, Vivek Bharadwaj, Chief Secretary of Odisha, Aditya Prasad Padhi and other departmental heads were present in the crucial meeting convened following the team’s field visits to various cyclone-affected areas.
Briefing the media persons soon after the meeting, Odisha Chief Secretary AP Padhi said, “The Central team lead by Vivek Bharadwaj visited the cyclone-affected areas of Odisha and assessed the damage incurred to the infrastructures. Today, we had a formal meeting with the Central team, where the Special Relief Commissioner, presented a preliminary report of damage incurred by the State Government due to Cyclone FANI.”
“As you all know, we are yet to submit the detailed memorandum as the damage-related reports are still coming in from several districts. All the reports will be properly assessed and sent to Government of India soon,” Padhi added.
When asked about the damage assessment figures, the Odisha Chief Secretary said, “It would not be right to say anything about the figures right now. While the report of damage assessment of Rs 12,000 crore has been carried by some newspapers, it is a preliminary assessment and not a final one. An official memorandum in this regard will be submitted to the Centre after a detailed assessment.
On being asked about any kind of assistance, except monetary, sought by the State Government, the Chief Secretary said that they have urged the Centre to revise certain norms related to electricity restorations done by SDRF and NDRF.
Speaking to media persons on the occasion, Vivek Bharadwaj said, ” As a severe calamity has struck Odisha, the Government of India stands with the state in every means. This is the first time that a Central team has visited a calamity-hit area with 10 days to assess the damage, and our team has visited several places in the last 2-3 days.
Further briefing about the damage assessment done by the 11-member Inter-ministerial team, Bharadwaj said, “Puri has suffered extensive loss in the cyclone, whether it be houses, statues, the livelihood of people, power or water supply. Other areas like Cuttack have also suffered house damage and loss of public infrastructures.
“However, the Odisha government has done a remarkable job in the distribution of relief and restoration works,” Bharadwaj said, adding that in the affected areas they visited, the people have been provided monetary, food and essential commodities for rehabilitation and immediate relief soon after the calamity hit the state.
“The further course of action is being decided and the Central Government will render all possible support to the Odisha government in rebuilding the state,” Bharadwaj concluded.