Bhubaneswar: The High-Level Committee (HLC) chaired by Union Home Minister Amit Shah approved additional assistance of Rs 3338.22 crore to Odisha for Cyclone Fani.
The High-Level Committee approved a total of Rs 4432.10 crore additional Central assistance to Odisha, Karnataka and Himachal Pradesh which were affected by drought (rabi) of 2018-19, avalanches, hailstorms, landslides and cyclone ‘Fani’ during 2019.
The fund was sanctioned from the National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF). While Rs. 3338.22 crore was sanctioned to Odisha for Cyclone Fani, Rs 1029.39 crore to Karnataka for drought and Rs 64.49 crore to Himachal Pradesh for avalanches and hailstorm.
This additional assisatance is over and above the funds released by Centre to the States in the State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF) already placed at the disposal of States. During 2018-19, Centre had released Rs 9,658 crore to all states and during 2019-20, till date Centre has released Rs 6,104 crore to 24 States from SDRF.
In the case of Odisha at the onset of Cyclone ‘Fani’, Rs 340.87 crore was released in advance on 29th April 2019 from SDRF. Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Odisha on 06.05.2019 and as announced by him, immediate assistance of Rs 1000 crore was released in advance.
In addition, an ex-gratia sum of Rs. 2 lakh were provided to next of the kin of the deceased and Rs. 50,000 to seriously injured in the Cyclone from PM’s Relief Fund.
During Cyclone ‘Fani’, Central Government had deployed 71 teams of NDRF, 19 columns of Army, 09 Engineering Task Force (ETF), 27 aircraft/helicopters and 16 Ships of Armed Forces for relief and rescue operations. During this massive evacuation drive, more than 15.5 lakhs people were evacuated.
Central Government had provided all necessary assistance in restoration of power supply and communication in affected districts, including that of providing necessary stores, gensets, steel poles and skilled manpower etc. As other states were also likely to be affected, an amount of Rs 688 crore was released in advance from SDRF to State Governments of Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal.