BHUBANESWAR: The Centre on Monday sanctioned Rs 380 crore from National Disaster Relief Fund (NDRF) for Odisha to tackle the severe drought situation.
However, the decision of the Centre has been criticised by both the BJD and Congress. The meeting of the high level committee (HLC), presided by Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh at New Delhi also sanctioned Rs 924 crore for Chhattisgarh, Rs 1104 crore for West Bengal and Rs 34 crore for Manipur. Earlier, the Centre had sanctioned Rs 1540 crore from the NDRF for Karnataka.
The State Government had demanded Rs 2200 crore from the Centre in two phases to deal with the severe drought situation in Odisha. A total of 215 blocks in 26 districts of Odisha has been badly affected due to the drought.
Former minister and BJD spokesman Pratap Deb has described this as yet another instance of Central negligence. After sending two teams to assess the drought situation, sanction of Rs 380 crore is inadequate, he said.
Members of the Central team members had also agreed that there has been 80 per cent crop damage in many places, Deb said and added that both UPA and NDA do not treat Odisha different on the issue of disaster management.
Referring to the assessment of the Central team, Leader of the Opposition Narasingh Mishra said more funds should have been sanctioned. The sanctioned fund is too small keeping in view the magnitude of the drought, he said.
The State unit of Samajwadi Party Rabi Behera also criticised the Centre for announcing a meagre amount for drought.
The BJD MPs had met Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday and requested him to sanction an assistance of Rs 2200 crore for drought-affected areas. The MPs had also requested the Prime Minister for a long term solution for drought-affected Western districts of the State.