A month after Fani, 1.64 lakh families still without electricity in Odisha

Bhubaneswar | A month after cyclone Fani ravaged Odisha after making landfall near Puri, more than five lakh people of 1.64 lakh households in the coastal districts were without electricity, an official said.

In the worst-hit Puri district, power supply could be restored to 52 percent of the 2,91,171 electricity consumers, the official said on Monday. Puri district bore the maximum brunt of the extremely severe cyclone, which made a landfall near the pilgrim town on May 3.

At least 64 persons, including 39 from Puri district alone, were killed in the calamity. The cyclone had also affected a total of 1.65 crore people in 14 districts of the state.

The official said of the total 25,01,131 electricity consumers in the affected districts, power has been restored to 23,36,584 consumers. Angul, Dhenkanal, Cuttack, Puri, Nayagarh, Khurdha, Kendrapada, Jagatsinghpur and Jajpur were among the districts affected by the cyclone.

There has been a significant improvement in drinking water, banking, telecom and other services in the cyclone-hit areas, the official said.

Odisha’s school and mass education minister Samir Ranjan Dash, who hails from Puri district, said, all out efforts were being made to restore power in rural areas of the district. The authorities have been asked to repair the schools as the summer vacation will be over on June 19, Dash said.

“Though we have set a target to complete power restoration work within June, no specific date can be fixed,” a senior official of the power department said.

Special relief commissioner B P Sethi in a letter to the collectors of cyclone-hit districts said that the ground report on the number of houses damage should be made keeping in mind the actual damage of houses.

“If you are recommending X amount of money for a damaged house, will it be sufficient for a hapless person, whose house has been damaged due to super storm Fani? ” Sethi asked in the letter.

The State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF) and National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF) have already announced the amount of assistance for damaged houses during disasters for the period 2015-2020.

For fully damaged and destroyed houses in the plains, Rs 95,100 has been allotted per house and Rs 1,01,900 has been allotted per house in the hilly areas.

Meanwhile, an inter-ministerial central team visited Odisha from May 12 to May 15 and conducted an on the spot assessment of the damages caused due to the cyclone.

A preliminary report of damage amounting to Rs 11,942.68 crore was shared with the central team, an official said.

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