Rain adds to misery of Odisha’s cyclone-hit

first_imgWith pre-monsoon showers lashing the coastal districts of Odisha, thousands of families, who lost their houses in cyclone Fani, are in deep distress.Although the Odisha government has started releasing housing building assistance to the affected families, repair of houses is unlikely to be completed before monsoon in many parts of the Puri district, which was the worst affected in the cyclone that hit the State on May 3.As per the damage assessment and enumeration conducted by the Puri district administration, houses and huts of as many as 2,87,762 families were damaged in the cyclone. “While 9,059 pucca and kutcha houses have been fully damaged, 1,04,715 houses have suffered severe damage. Similarly, 1,13,221 pucca houses and 49,529 kutcha houses have been partially damaged,” the assessment report says.The State government, as per the norms of the State Disaster Response Fund and the National Disaster Response Fund, announced ₹95,100 for a person whose house (pucca or kutcha) has been fully or severely damaged. Similarly, ₹5,200 is to be paid for partial damage of pucca house, ₹3,200 for partial damage of kutcha house and ₹4,100 for damage to hut.First instalment givenThe first instalment of the house building assistance has already been disbursed. The State government had released ₹197.59 crore to the Puri district administration on June 10. Subsequently, ₹10.21 crore was released. “Prior to the disbursement of house building assistance, we had asked suppliers of roofing sheets to make the material available at the panchayat level so that people don’t face difficulties in getting them,” said Puri District Collector Balwant Singh.According to villagers, the magnitude of the damage is such that roofing material alone would not suffice. “We are facing difficulties in mobilising building materials, masons, carpenters and labourers,” said Sudarshn Behera of Bhagabatipur under Nimapara block of Puri district. Farmers were facing a twin challenge – protecting their family members and household articles from rain and taking up farming in the rainy season, Mr. Behera said.The Bhubaneswar Meteorological Centre says monsoon is likely to hit Odisha within a week. But, widespread pre-monsoon rains have been recorded in almost all coastal districts, including Puri.last_img