Centre announces further Rs1,000-cr assistance to cyclone-ravaged Odisha

The central government has extended a fresh assistance of Rs1,000-crore for rehabilitation and restoration measures being undertaken in areas of Odisha affected by cyclone Fani.

The ministry of home affairs today announced a further release of Rs1,000 crore for assistance to the state. Earlier Rs341 crore had been provided to Odisha as an advance to its State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF).
The decision was taken after Prime Minister Narendra Modi undertook an aerial survey of the flood-affected areas of Odisha to review relief efforts and the National Crisis Management Committee (NCMC) met again today for the seventh time in succession.
Odisha is struggling to restore power and telecommunication infrastructure 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, according to an official release. 
In Odisha, where the NEET examination was postponed, will now be held on 20 May. Medicines dispatched by the centre have been received and all measures were being taken to prevent any outbreak of diseases, the release said.
Reviewing the relief measures, Cabinet Secretary stressed that 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 gangmen 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 14 May. Cabinet secretary has directed mobilisation of more manpower to restore power. He also suggested that mobile service operators need to operationalise their towers in coordination with the state government.
The petroleum ministry has informed 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 12 May.
The defence ministry has moved diesel generators to Odisha. Four helicopters of the Navy and Indian Coast Guard are engaged in relief operations. Navy and ICG are also running community kitchens for cyclone affected people.
The Eastern Naval Command is undertaking a three-pronged rescue and rehabilitation effort centred around Puri and its suburbs in coordination with the state government and the district administration. Relief and rehabilitation ‘bricks’ and ‘pallets’ (Naval parlance for containerised relief stores) comprising food material, essential medical supplies, clothing items, disinfectants, repair material, chain saws for removing damaged trees, torches and batteries, etc. have been sent to INS Chilka, a naval establishment at Odisha, closest to Puri. The Naval Officer-in-Charge (Odisha) is centrally coordinating distribution of these relief materials and community kitchen is planned to be set up.