Odisha CM urges Union Home Minister to relax NDRF norms

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Bhubaneswar: Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Thursday urged the Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh to relax NDRF norms in order to restore the heavily damaged power infrastructure in 14 districts.

In a letter addressed to Singh, the Odisha Chief Minister said that the present NDRF norms for the repair of the damaged power sector, assistance is given for damaged conductors, poles, and transformers up to the level of 11 KV only which is inadequate for the extensive destruction caused by the Cyclone Fani.

“Besides, while large scale damage to 11 KV lines, distribution transformers and LT network admissible for repair and restoration under NDRF norms, extensive damage has also been caused to 220 KV / 132 KV towers and transmission lines, grid sub-stations and power transformers and 33 KV poles, lines, and primary sub-stations,” the letter read.

The letter also mentioned, “The transmission and distribution companies are not in a position to finance the restoration work. The state government has undertaken the restoration of power infrastructure on war-footing from its own resources.”

Patnaik requested the Union Minister to relax NDRF norms to provide for inadmissible damages as the scale of damage to the power infrastructure is far too expensive to be taken care of by the state government.

The Odisha chief minister also informed the Union home minister that a preliminary report on the extent of damage to the power sector in Odisha has estimated the loss at about Rs 1,160 crore.

Meanwhile, the Central government has extended the deadlines for various Goods and Services Tax (GST) returns for taxpayers registered in cyclone-hit Odisha.

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