Odisha receives Rs 500-cr interim aid from Centre for restoration work post cyclone

Bhubaneswar, May 24 (PTI) Cyclone-battered Odisha has received Rs 500 crore from the Centre as advance assistance for restoration work, a senior official said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced the assistance after conducting an aerial survey of the cyclone-hit districts of Odisha and holding a review meeting here on Friday.

In a tweet on Saturday, Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) P K Jena said, 'MHA released Rs 500 crore to Odisha Govt in less than 24 hours of Honble PM @PMOIndia@naendramodi announcement in Bhubaneswar 4 #cycloneAmphan. We thank @PMOIndia@narendramodi &MHA for such speed in releasing the Fund'.

The state government has also stepped up the restoration operation in 10 cyclone-affected districts in the coastal and northern regions of the state, Jena said.

Altogether, 19 units of the NDRF, 12 teams of the ODRAF and 156 fire service teams have been deployed in the affected districts for clearance of supply lines, he said.

Four districts -- Balasore, Bhadrak, Kendrapara and Jagatsinghpur -- have been severely impacted by the heavy downpour and high velocity winds triggered by cyclone 'Amphan', as per the preliminary damage assessment report released by the state government on Saturday.

The report said as many as 44,44,896 people have been affected in the 10 districts.

Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had on Saturday thanked President Ram Nath Kovind and PM Modi for their support during the crisis.

'We will work together to ensure care of affected and distressed people and restoration of normalcy at the earliest,' Patnaik had said in a message to Modi. PTI AAM SKN SBN RBT DV DV