Bhubaneswar: Though a month has passed since Cyclone Fani wrought devastation in 14 coastal Odisha districts, the state administration is yet to restore minimum utility services in the affected pockets.
More than five lakh people of 1.64 lakh households in Odisha’s coastal districts still continue to struggle with hot and humid weather conditions due to lack of power restoration.
Puri district, which bore the brunt of the May 3 cyclone, witnessed tardy progress restoration of power infrastructure. Only 1,51,889 out of 2,91,171 affected electricity consumers (52 per cent) have reportedly got back power so far.
According to official data, of the 25,01,131 affected electricity consumers, power has been restored to 23,36,584. The affected districts were Angul, Dhenkanal, Cuttack, Puri, Nayagarh, Khurda, Kendrapara, Jagatsinghpur and Jajpur.
There has been significant improvement in the drinking water, banking, telecom and other services in the cyclone-hit areas.
Odisha’s school and mass education minister Samir Ranjan Dash, who hails from Puri district, said the authorities had been asked to repair the schools as the summer vacation will end on June 19.
The minister also said all-out efforts were being made to restore power in the rural areas of Puri district.
“Though we have set a target to complete power restoration work within June, no specific date can be fixed,” a senior official of the power department said.
State Special Relief Commissioner Bishupada Sethi, in a letter to the collectors of cyclone-hit districts, instructed that the ground report on the number of houses damage be made keeping in mind the actual damage of houses.
The State Disaster Response Fund and National Disaster Response Fund have already announced the amount of assistance for damaged houses during disaster for the period 2015-2020.
For fully damaged and destroyed houses in the plains, Rs 95,100 has been allotted per house and `1,01,900 has been allotted per house in the hilly areas.
Meanwhile, an inter-ministerial central team visited Odisha from May 12 to 15 and conducted an on the spot assessment of the damages caused due to the cyclone.
A preliminary report of damage amounting to Rs 11,942.68 crore was shared with the central team, an official said.
The cyclone had affected a total of 1.65 crore people in 14 districts of the state. At least 64 persons, including 39 from Puri district alone, were killed in the calamity....