BHUBANESWAR: Stating that there has been extensive damage to infrastructure in the cyclone hit areas of the coastal districts, senior Congress leader and former union minister Ghulam Nabi Azad said restoration of power and water supply should be the top priority of the State Government.
Restoration teams should work for 24 hours a day and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik should monitor the situation directly to ensure that normalcy returns to the affected areas at the earliest, Azad, who visited the cyclone affected areas of Puri and Konark, told mediapersons here on Friday.
The Congress veteran said Fani has also severely impacted environment of the affected areas as lakhs of trees have been uprooted. Besides, it has also affected livelihood of lakhs of people, he said.
Azad said free kitchen should be continued by the State Government in the affected areas as long as the people of the affected areas require it. “The Government should continue free kitchens for 20 or 25 days, as long as it is necessary and should not stop it after 15 days,” he said and added that the poorest of the poor depend on free kitchens.
He said the Government should also provide financial assistance of `2,000 per affected person and 50 kg of rice as promised. President of Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee (OPCC) Niranjan Patnaik, working president Chiranjib Biswal, Congress candidate from the Puri Lok Sabha seat and media cell chairman Satya Prakash Nayak and senior leader Ram Chandra Khuntia accompanied Azad.