Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday undertook an aerial survey of the areas devastated by extremely severe cyclonic storm ‘Fani’ in Odisha state on May 3 and announced an immediate assistance of Rs one thousand crore to the state. The Prime Minister also announced ex-gratia of Rupees two lakh to next of the kin of the deceased and Rupees fifty thousand to seriously injured in the cyclone.
Modi undertook an aerial survey of Pipili, Puri, Konark, Nimapada and Bhubaneswar hit by the cyclone and thereafter took a meeting of senior officers of the state and federal government to take stock of the damages caused by ‘Fani’ and the relief and rehabilitation measures being undertaken.The Prime Minister assured all possible assistance to Odisha.
The immediate assistance worth Rs.1,000 crore is apart from Rs. 341 crore already released to the state government on April 29, said a statement from the PMO. Modi also promised further assistance after the assessment by an inter-ministerial team of the federal Indian government, said the statement. He assured a federal government team would visit Odisha soon to assess the extent of damage to infrastructure, housing, fishermen and farms and relief to be provided to the state.
The Prime Minister said his government was fully committed not only to providing immediate relief but also to ensuring rebuilding of the state. Modi appreciated the role played by technology, including satellite imagery and advanced weather forecasting techniques, in minimising the loss of life. According to latest reports coming out of Odisha, the cyclone left 34 people dead.
Modi said the combination of technological capabilities and human interface has enabled last-mile connectivity with the affected. The Odisha government’s efforts in evacuating more than a million people to safety and the efforts of Indian Met Department to give accurate cyclone forecast were specially appreciated by the Prime Minister.
He commended the remarkable coordination between Odisha government and the federal government which helped to minimise causalities in the most powerful cyclone to hit the state in two decades. The Prime Minister said that he knows the extent of damage and destruction such a cyclone brings as he too has been a Chief Minister of a coastal state (Gujarat).
He directed the Odisha and federal government officers of power, telecom and railways to ensure restoration of services at the earliest. He also directed the Road and Surface Transport Ministry to take effective steps for repair of roads damaged and also provide all assistance to the state in this regard. Modi directed that insurance companies must dispatch their observers immediately to the cyclone-hit areas to assess the farmer’s claim related to crop insurance and provide them relief at the earliest.