Bhubaneswar, Oct 13: In an exclusive interview with Asian News International, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Sunday confirmed that the damage caused to roads in the light of Cyclone Phailin would be restored within 24 hours, while power in the state would be restored within 36 hours.
Patnaik also put the official death toll in the state, as a result of the natural disaster, at nine people.
“Roads would be repaired within the next 24 hours, while power and electricity would be restored in 36 hours in most places. Some places like Ganjam, it might take longer,” Patnaik said in an interview to ANI.
“”Nine people have perished,” he added.
Patnaik also confirmed that the preliminary assessment of damages in the state revealed that more than 2 lakh kacha houses have been damaged due to the cyclone.
“The assessment of the damages is going on. We understand that more than 2 lakh kacha houses have been damaged. Ofcourse, the people will get the appropriate rehabilitation. We will see to that as soon as possible,” he said.
Meanwhile, Naveen Patnaik also announced compensation packages for all victims of Cyclone Phailin, and added that the rehabilitation process would start soon after the conclusion of the assessment of damage to homes and crop by district officials.
“The state government is taking all possible steps to provide emergent relief to the persons affected in yesterday’s cyclone,” Patnaik told reporters here today.
Making a distinction based on preliminary damage assessment, Patnaik announced that there would be two levels of compensatory packages handed out to victims on a per family basis, while fishermen would also be compensated for their loss of livelihood due to Cyclone Phailin.
“The families in very severely affected villages in need of support will be provided food assistance for 14 days. This will be given in the shape of 50 kilograms of rice and Rs. 400 in cash for Dal (lentil) per family,” Patnaik said.
“The families in severely affected villages in need of support will be provided food assistance for seven days. This will be given in the shape of 25 kilograms of rice and Rs. 200 in cash for Dal (lentil) per family,” he said.
“Besides, all fishermen who were prevented from going to the sea because of the cyclone will be given 10 kilograms of rice each for the loss of livelihood,” he added.
Earlier today, Deputy Inspector General (DIG) of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) Surjeet Singh Guleria said that the damage assessment is being carried out since morning.
“We have taken many steps. Twenty-nine teams were deployed since yesterday. Since 5 in the morning, they are carrying out the damage assessment, they are clearing the roads; while clearing the roads, and we are seeing that there are a few buildings, which have collapsed. So we are clearing the buildings also so that there is no person found trapped. So that kind of care we are taking,” he said.
Earlier today, in the latest update on Very Severe Cyclonic Storm (VSCS) Phailin, Director General of the Indian Meteorological Department, L.S. Rathore, said that the natural disaster had not caused any loss of life since the landfall on Saturday evening and complimented the media for its role during the hours of crisis.
Meanwhile, the MeT has issued a warning to Bihar as it is likely that the rivers running into Bihar will overflow and cause disruption in the state.
The landfall took place at around 9.15 p.m. on Saturday night and the impact of the cyclone lasted for over seven hours before it moved in a north-northwesterly direction. (ANI)