Bhubaneshwar: People staged road blockades in areas hit by Cyclone Fani and assaulted government officials in protest against water shortage and power cuts in the last nine days.
While the state government claimed to have restored power and drinking water supplies in urban pockets of Puri, Kendrapara, Jagatsinghpur and Cuttack districts, people on Saturday blocked roads connecting Paradip and Cuttack, and the National Highway linking Bhubaneswar with Puri, alleging lack of basic amenities.
Similar agitations were seen in parts of the state capital where power continued to remain elusive for the eighth consecutive day.
At several places, demonstrators alleged that the restoration work was hampered by a lack of management and coordination among various government agencies, thereby compounding the miseries of the cyclone-hit people.
Officials, however, clai-med that protests are hampering relief work.
“We are forced to hit the road as the government has failed to provide basic necessities such as water and power despite having promised to restore power supply by Sunday, May 12,” said a woman who joined a road blockade at Nuagaon. “There is a limit to our patience. We are made to spend sleepless nights. We have to purchase drinking water at exorbitant prices,” said another protester.
Meanwhile, the cyclone has also claimed lives of 37.28 lakh birds, 2,210 large animals like cows and buffaloes and 2,488 small animals like sheep and goats. The calamity has also destroyed 14 lakh trees and eight lakh saplings....