Central team arrives in Odisha tomorrow to assess Hudhud damage

Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Nov 17:

An eight-member Central team, headed by Gopal Dwibedy, Joint secretary in the Union Home department, will arrive here tomorrow to assess damages caused in Odisha by Cyclone Hudhud.

Malkangiri Hudhud

The team would be split into two groups and would make field visits to the four worst-affected districts of Koraput, Malkangiri, Gajapati and Rayagada on November 18 and 19 to assess damages caused due to cyclone Hudhud that hit Odisha on October 12.

While one group will visit Koraput and Malkangiri districts, the other will visit Gajapati and Rayagada districts.

The state government had submitted a memorandum to the Union Home ministry on November 12, seeking an assistance of Rs 777.12 crore for restoration and rehabilitation work in 22 districts affected by the very severe cyclonic storm Hudhud.

Special relief commissioner Pradipta K Mohapatra had said that out of the 22 districts affected by cyclone, Hudhud extensive damage had been caused in 15 districts while seven other districts were partially hit.

The memorandum had detailed the assistance sought under different heads – repair of roads & bridges (Rs 374.31 crore), restoration of power supply (Rs 104.35 crore), agriculture input subsidy (Rs 23.77 crore), repair of rural/urban drinking water system (Rs 85.65 crore), repair of irrigation works (Rs 80.10 crore), repair of community assets owned by panchayats (Rs 44.60 crore) and repair of primary school buildings (Rs 37.95 crore).

The memorandum had stated that Hudhud had damaged 2,155.99 km of conductors of 11 KV feeders, 239.95 km of conductor 33 KV feeders, eight power transformers 1,754 distribution transformers, 1,088.75 km of conductor LT (low tension) lines.

The memorandum had elaborated that as many as 587 rural pipe water supply systems and 68 tubewells had been damaged in the rural areas due to the cyclone and the floods that followed it. Damage had also occurred to pipe water supply works and tube wells in urban areas.

According to the memorandum, the cyclone has fully damaged eight pucca houses and 883 kutcha houses while partially damaging 343 pucca houses and 40,244 kutcha houses. Crops in 502 hectares of irrigated land, 1,072 hectares of non-irrigated land and 20 hectares of perennial crops of farmers other than small and marginal farmers had been damaged to the extent of 50 per cent or more due to the cyclone.

Prior to the state government’s  submission of memorandum to the Union Home ministry, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had met Union Finance minister Arun Jaitley on November 5 in New Delhi and had demanded Rs 500 crore towards interim Central assistance for damages incurred due to cyclone Hudhud.

Patnaik had also asked for immediate release of the Rs 399.88 crore of arrear dues of Central assistance on account of last year’s Cyclone Phailin.

A meeting with members of the visiting central team to be chaired by chief secretary GC Pati will be held on November 19, official sources said.

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