New Delhi, May 7: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday conducted an aerial survey of cyclone-hit areas of Odisha and announced an additional central assistance of Rs 1,000 crore for relief works in the state.
Earlier Rs 341 crore had been provided to Odisha as an advance to its State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF). The National Crisis Management Committee (NCMC) under the Cabinet Secretary PK Sinha met again on Monday for the seventh time in succession. Odisha informed that restoration of Power and Telecommunication infrastructure continues to remain the major priority in the Cyclone affected areas of the State. Around 50 per cent power restoration has been reported while more works need to be done in Bhubaneswar and Puri.
The NEET examination, which was postponed, will now be held on 20th May. Medicines dispatched by the Centre have been received and all measures were being taken to prevent any outbreak of diseases.
Reviewing the relief measures, Cabinet Secretary stressed on the power connectivity need to be restored on priority basis as drinking water supply, telephone connectivity and banking operations need electricity. The option of deploying vehicle-mounted mobile towers, as requested by Odisha, is being explored to provide connectivity in Puri and Khurda.
“More than 2,500 gang men are working in Odisha to restore power lines, substations and Steel Ministry has dispatched about 5,500 steel electric poles and another 15,000 will be supplied by May14", the Power Ministry representative informed NCMC.
Cabinet Secretary further directed that more manpower should be mobilized to restore power. He also suggested that mobile service operators need to operationalise their towers in coordination with the State Government.
Ministry of Petroleum informed the NCMC that majority of petrol and diesel retail outlets are functional and sufficient stocks of diesel and other fuels are available in Odisha. Three mobile dispensers of Diesel of 6000 liters capacity each are being pressed into service. Finance Ministry has directed Insurance companies to settle insurance claims expeditiously. The State Level Banking Committee has been asked to convene to coordinate all banking issues, including functioning of ATMs.
Railways have resumed train services on all the lines. The yard at Puri, which was extensively damaged will be restored fully by 12th May.
Similarly, the Defence Ministry has moved Diesel Generators to Odisha. Four helicopters of Navy and Indian Coast Guard are engaged in relief operations. Navy and ICG are also running community kitchens for cyclone affected people.
Cabinet Secretary also directed that officers of Central Ministries and agencies should work in close coordination with Odisha Government and provide all required assistance expeditiously. (UNI)