The State being prone to tropical cyclone and other natural calamities like flood, the Government has planned long-term disaster mitigation measures with financial assistance from World Bank (WB) and Asian Development Bank (ADB).
The two overseas banks have assured to provide assistance to the tune of ` 2,000 crore for a range of activities including strengthening of saline embankments along the coast, construction of more cyclone shelters and cyclone resistance houses within five km of the seashore and development of slums in Berhampur town, said Revenue and Disaster Management Minister SN Patro while replying to the discussion on supplementary demands of the Department. The Minister criticised the Centre for not coming to the rescue of the State when it required help.
Even after announcing an interim relief of ` 1,000 crore for the State, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh released only ` 250 crore for cyclone restoration works recently.
Assessing the damage caused by cyclone Phailin and subsequent flood at `5,832.50 crore, the State Government had placed a demand for equal amount to the Centre for rehabilitation and restoration works. The Central team that visited the affected areas appreciated the measures taken by the Government before and after the cyclone. But the Centre did not provide the assistance it promised to the State.
The Minister said additional 126 cyclone shelters will be constructed at strategic locations along the cost with financial assistance from the World Bank.
The damaged mangrove forest will be recreated under the Integrated Costal Zone Management Programme.
The ADB has also offered assistance of $70 million for cyclone insulated infrastructure for transmission and distribution of electricity in the coastal zone and $35 million for strengthening river and saline embankments.
Initiating the discussion, SS Pramanik of the Congress alleged that many cyclone and flood affected people of the coastal district have not received any assistance from the Government till date.
The Assembly on Wednesday approved supplementary demands of the Department through voice vote and 35 other departments through guillotine.