Centre Okays Rs 1023 Cr From NDRF For Titli Damages

Bhubaneswar: The Centre has given the go-ahead for release of additional financial assistance to Odisha for the damage caused by cyclone Titli last October.

A high-level committee chaired by Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Monday approved the additional assistance of Rs 1,023.59 crore to Odisha from the National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF).

Union Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan expressed gratitude to Rajnath for approving the additional assistance in a tweet.

In a telephonic conversation with the Union Home Minister a couple of days back, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, had discussed the immediate release of financial assistance for undertaking repair and restoration work in the districts affected by cyclone ‘Titli’. Rajnath had assured to release the amount immediately.

The Chief Minister had also written to the Union Minister regarding this on December 13. In the letter, Naveen said, “The very severe cyclonic storm ‘Titli’ of October 2018 with associated flood and landslides had severely affected a vast population of about 60.31 lakh in 128 blocks under 17 districts of Odisha.”

He also said that the state government had submitted a memorandum to the Government of India seeking central assistance of Rs 2023.13 crore against the total of Rs 2779.32 crore for relief and restoration measures. “In a letter to the Prime Minister of India on October 18, I had requested for release of an interim assistance of Rs 1,000 crore pending final decision of the high level committee on the memorandum. The inter-ministerial Central team has already made an on the spot assessment of the damages during first week of November, 2018. However, we have not received any assistance, so far, from the Government of India,” said the Chief Minister.

In the meantime, an amount of Rs 1,689.13 crore has been released for relief and restoration measures, exhausting the entire amount available in State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF) and hence, assistance from National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF) is urgently required for replenishing the SDRF and undertaking the remaining work, he added.

In October, 70 people were killed in the severe cyclonic storm and subsequent floods and landslides. A total of 60.31 lakh people in 17 districts were affected in the natural disasters.

The committee also approved Rs 268.63 crore to Tripura.

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