Cyclone Fani: Central Team to begin assessment today

Bhubaneswar: The 11-member Central team is scheduled to visit Puri, Khurda and Cuttack districts on Tuesday to begin the assessment of the damage caused by the severe cyclonic storm that hit Odisha on May 3.

The Central team split into two groups led by Vivek Bharadwaj, Additional Secretary in the Union Ministry of Home Affairs, and Ajay Kumar, Director in the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation, will visit Puri, Khurdha, and Cuttack district.

The Central team was apprised of the devastation wrought by Cyclone Fani by the Special Relief Commissioner Bishnupada Sethi, before going for a field visit.

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, while thanking PM Modi and the central government for the support and aids provided to the state, also mentioned the need of housing facility for the worst affected in the letter.

“While the people of the affected districts have gone through immense hardship, the loss of shelter has been a devastating experience The State government is undertaking a detailed house damage assessment which would be completed shortly. The exact number of houses damaged completely or substantially will be arrived at after the survey,” CM Patnaik noted in the letter.

“However, according to preliminary estimation, about 5 lakh houses have been completely or substantially damaged across 14 districts with the major loss occurring in Puri district,” he observed.

“A presentation on the extent of damage was also made by the State administration, highlighting the dire need for building disaster resilient housing along the coastal belt of Odisha, vulnerable to cyclonic storms,” Patnaik said, requesting the Centre to sanction 5 lakh Prime Minister Awas Yojna (PMAY) houses initially.

Emphasising on the need for waiver of the Permanent Wait List (PWL) criterion for this particular allocation, CM also urged PM Modi to consider a Centre-State fund sharing pattern of 90:10 as a special case.

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