The BJD Govt that is basking in glory over its supposed evacuation of 14 million people and minimising human casualties has failed to live up to expectations in providing relief and mitigating suffering on a war footing, says AIKS.
Our Correspondents / Bhubneshwar / New Delhi
All India Kisan Sabha, AIKS has urged the government to declare Cyclone Fani affected areas of Odisha as National Calamity and demanded the availability of adequate funds to meet the need of Relief, Restoration, Rehabilitation and Reconstruction work on a war footing. It demanded immediate financial assistance should be Rs.10000/ instead of Rs.2000/ to all affected families. AIKS also demanded supply of minimum of two polythene to each family instead of Rs.500/- and one quintal Rice with 10 Kg of Dal for the survival of cyclone victims.
It also wanted the government to provide work to all Urban and Rural labourers and unemployed youth by involving them in the reconstruction work with minimum Rs.600/wage per day. “The Government should seize the opportunity to provide concrete pucca houses for all in Odisha including homeless by providing minimum 4 lakhs per family”.
Odisha is reeling under one of the worst cyclones since the Super Cyclone of 1999. The Fani Cyclone that hit the Odisha Coast wreaked havoc and unprecedented destruction of houses, crops, trees, electricity poles and also took the lives of around 70 people. More than 14 million people are estimated to have been affected in a region spread over 16,000 villages.
Standing paddy crop, coconut trees, cashew trees and various other crops on 1,52,000 hectares are estimated to have been destroyed. Livestock has also faced the brunt with many animals reported killed. Even conservative estimates suggest that over 30 percent of crops in the State have been destroyed. Over 1,56,000 electric poles, about 80,000 kms of low tension wires bringing electricity to homes and 48,673 km of high tension cables have been damaged disrupting power supply. Even after more than a week of the Cyclone the affected areas are yet to see restoration of electricity and drinking water services. Discrimination in providing relief has also been reported.
AIKS in statement said that a team of All India Kisan Sabha and CPI-M including AIKS Joint Secretary and member of CPIM Central Committee Vijoo Krishnan, Janardhan Pati veteran leader and former CC Member of CPI-M, Odisha Krushak Sabha Secretary Suresh Panigrahi and President Yambeswar Samantaray, DYFI leader Jatin Mohanty, Bapi Maharana and others visited the worst hit areas of Bhubaneswar, Puri, Khurda and main centres of destruction like Kanas, Tangi, Chandaka etc on 9th and 10th May, 2019. By all accounts, the damage to crops and houses is second only to the Super Cyclone and more than the Phailin Cyclone.
The BJD Government that is basking in glory over its supposed evacuation of 14 million people and minimising human casualties has failed to live up to expectations in providing relief and mitigating suffering on a war footing. The evacuation also was a result of people being informed in advance due to correct prediction of the Cyclone and people moving on their own to Cyclone shelters or concrete buildings that could withstand the Cyclone.
Infrastructure built after taking lessons from the Super Cyclone which killed more than 10000 people has helped in protecting people. Surely, that the State Government has constructed such a network of Cyclone shelters over the last two decades is a positive sign despite the inadequacies to provide shelter for millions. The total flattening of houses mostly built of mud and thatched roof points to the crying need for proper housing in the State. Such an effort may have been far more effective shelters for the people.
AIKS & CPI-M held a protest in Bhubaneswar on 10th May against the tardy progress of relief work, superficial manner of relief, discrimination of Adivasi areas and general apathy of the bureaucracy. Hundreds of affected people yet to get the interim compensation of Rs.2000 per family, 50 Kg of rice and polythene sheet participated. CPI-M State Secretary Ali Kishore Patnaik, AIKS Joint Secretary Vijoo Krishnan, veteran leader Janardhan Pati and others addressed the protest. A memorandum was given to the authorities.