Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday conducted an aerial survey to take stock of the loss and destruction in areas affected by Cyclone Fani in Odisha and announced Rs 1,000 crore more to the state government for conducting relief and restoration work.The amount is in addition to the Rs 381 crore announced previously.
Odisha asked the central government to give it a long-term assistance of Rs 17,000 crore to manage natural disasters, four days after severe cyclonic storm Fani killed 38 people and destroyed power and telecom infrastructure.
Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik sought the financial assistance during Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to Puri and Khurda, the districts worst affected by Fani
Patnaik urged the Centre to give Odisha Rs 10,000 crore for building permanent anti-calamity power infrastructure along the coast and Rs 7000 crore for building half a million houses, suggesting that funding be apportioned between the Centre and state 90:10.
The Prime Minister also praised Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik for his handling of the crisis. "Naveen babu has done a very good job, his planning is excellent."
"There has been excellent coordination since the last seven-eight days between the state and central governments. The communication has been perfect. The state government's team was proactive and responsive too. I was also monitoring. The way people of Odisha and fishermen complied with every instruction of government is praiseworthy," Prime Minister Modi said.
Meanwhile, the relief assistance of Rs 1,000 crore announced by the Prime Minister is in addition to the Rs. 341 crores already released to the state government on April 29. The Prime Minister announced ex-gratia of Rs two lakhs to the next of the kin of the deceased and Rs 50,000 to those seriously injured in the cyclone.
"The central and state government will continue to work together. In the coming days, relief and restoration work will be done. The government of India had announced Rs 381 crore earlier, a further Rs 1,000 crore will be released now. A team of the central government will come to do an assessment of the work," PM Modi said.
He assured the people of the state that the Union Government stands shoulder to shoulder with them at this difficult time.
The PM also appreciated the resilience of the people and the fishermen living in the coastal areas. The state government's efforts in evacuating more than one million people to safety and the efforts of India Meteorological Department to give accurate forecast were specially appreciated by the Prime Minister.
"I would like to praise the people of Odisha. Shifting 12 lakh people is not easy. Lives have been saved, that's more important for me. The central government will also give Rs 2 lakhs to the kin of those who have lost their lives due to Cyclone Fani. Also, Rs 50,000 will be given to those who have got injured," Modi said.
While conducting the aerial survey today, Prime Minister Modi was joined Odisha Governor Ganeshi Lal, Naveen Patnaik and Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan.
PM Modi also held a review meeting with officials.
Earlier, Odisha government claimed that the Cyclone Fani has led to one of the biggest human evacuations in history as a record 1.2 million people were evacuated in 24 hours including 3.2 lakh from Ganjam district and 1.3 lakh from Puri.
Cyclone Fani on Friday made landfall in Puri with a wind speed of over 200 kmph. The cyclone, the worst April storm in 43 years, caused "huge damage" in Bhubaneswar, Cuttack, Puri and Khordha districts in the state, according to the Odisha government.
'Kuccha' houses were completely destroyed in Puri, parts of Khurda, and other districts. The cyclone tore apart critical infrastructure, especially power, telecom and water supply.
Lakhs of trees were uprooted blocking roads, breaking homes and damaging infrastructure. The cyclone also triggered heavy rainfall in the state. It left at least three people dead and over 160 injured along with leaving behind a trail of destructions that included damaged houses, uprooted trees and electricity poles.