Even as recurring calamities have ruined the agrarian economy and negated the effect of development of the State, apathy of successive Governments at the Centre towards Odisha has affected people adversely.
Though calamities like flood, cyclone, and drought have been hitting the State with unfailing regularity, the Centre has hardly shown its concern.
After the super cyclone in 1999 that claimed more than 10,000 human lives and caused extensive damage to property and crops in the coastal districts, cyclone Phailin and the subsequent floods shattered the State’s economy further.
The total loss of the State, as per official estimate, is Rs 21,766 crore which is nearly Rs 7000 crore more than the plan outlay for the current financial year.
The State Government had sought Central assistance of Rs 5,832.50 crore but received only Rs 1,000 crore.
The loss suffered by the State due to natural calamities during the last 15 years is estimated at Rs 52,570 crore. The cumulative demand raised by the State for central assistance was Rs 33,314 crore. However, the Centre provided only Rs 3600 crore as relief assistance.
While the ruling BJD has been accusing the Congress led UPA Government at Centre of neglecting the State only to score politically, the BJP led NDA Government was no better.
After the 1999 super cyclone, the State was hit by drought in 2000 followed by flood in 2001, drought in 2002 again and floods in 2003 and 2004.
The cumulative estimated loss of the State was over Rs 12,511 crore including Rs 6243 crore in the super cyclone alone. The cumulative demand for Central assistance of the state was Rs 11,455 crore while it received a cumulative assistance of Rs 1157 crore from the Centre.
The Centre provided relief assistance of Rs 49.62 crore as against a demand of Rs 445.28 crore for 2002 drought, Rs 100 crore as against Rs 1,530.88 crore for 2001 flood, Rs 5 crore against a demand of Rs 871.40 crore for 2002 drought and Rs 104.43 crore as against Rs 1,793 crore for 2003 floods.
The State received the harshest treatment from the UPA Government since it came to power in 2004. Though the State is facing flood every year since 2004, it did not receive a penny from the Centre till the end of 2009.
According to official estimates, the total damage in the 2006 floods was Rs 2,382 crore, Rs 1,400 crore in 2007, Rs 3,157 crore in 2008 and Rs 2,500 crore in 2009.
The UPA Government has however provided relief assistance of Rs 2,538 crore to the State since 2010. This includes `1,000 crore assistance for cyclone Phailin and the subsequent floods.