Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Nov 28:
Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik today shot a letter to the Centre seeking early disbursement of nearly Rs 400 crore towards Phailin claims for restoration and rehabilitation of the affected persons.
In a letter to Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik urged the former that the error in the assessment be rectified and the promised amount of Rs.399.83 crore sanctioned from the National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF) at the earliest.
“Odisha Government had done excellent work both before the cyclone and afterward, for relief and rehabilitation of the affected persons. Unfortunately, because of an erroneous assessment by the Inter Ministerial Central Team, our legitimate dues were not sanctioned from the NDRF in the High Level Committee (HLC) meeting chaired by Sharad Pawar, the then Union Agriculture Minister. The state government pointed out the error and Iwas pleased to receive the letter on September 10 last year from the Ministry of Home Affairs informing me that the expenditure of Rs.399.83 crore was approved. However, this was subsequently not given effect to,” Patnaik said in the letter.
Notably, Chief Minister had raised this issue in his previous letters to Prime Minister Narendra Modi in January and March this year.
“I pointed this out in my letters to the Prime Minister on January 15 and March 4 this year. However, the formal decision of the HLC in this regard could not be taken despite its three meetings held on January 14, March 24 and May 29 this year,” Patnaik added.
It may be mentioned that about 1.2 crore people in 17 districts of the state were affected by the very severe cyclonic storm and subsequent floods that hit the state on October 12, 2013.