Patnaik seeks appointment with PM over aid delay

    By IANS,

    Bhubaneswar : Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik Friday sought an appointment with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to discuss with him the damage caused by Cyclone Phailin and subsequent floods in the state, an official said.

    Since the prime minister cancelled his Odisha trip, the chief minister decided to visit Delhi to apprise him about the problems his state has been facing due to lack of central assistance, a senior official of the Chief Minister’s Office told IANS.

    The prime minister had reportedly planned to visit the state to make an aerial survey of the disaster hit areas Nov 2 but the programme was cancelled.

    Patnaik wrote a letter to the prime minister Oct 16 seeking Rs.1,000 crore advance for reconstruction and restoration work in the affected areas. Similarly, the government has also submitted two memoranda in the past, seeking central’s assistance but not a rupee has yet been sanctioned, the official said.

    The chief minister also sought an appointment with Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde to apprise him of the matter, the official added.

    The severe tropical Cyclone Phailin in the Bay of Bengal, which made landfall Oct 12 near Gopalpur in state’s Ganjam district, killed at least 50 and left behind a trail of destruction in several districts of Odisha, bringing heavy rain and causing flood.

    The government said the cyclone and floods have affected more than two crore people in the state. It said the state government has been requesting the central government to sanction about Rs.5,800 crore, but has not received any response.

    The ruling Biju Janata Dal party organised demonstrations in front of central government offices across the state Thursday and submitted a memorandum to President Pranab Mukherjee through Governor S.C. Jamir seeking his intervention into the matter.