New Delhi, June 11 (LocalWire): Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to include natural calamity as an indicator to accord special category status to Odisha.
“This will supplement state’s efforts for inclusive growth and development,” he told the Prime Minister, adding that the state should be provided central assistance on 90:10 sharing pattern for centrally-sponsored schemes.
Patnaik put forth his suggestion during his meeting with PM Modi at New Delhi on Tuesday to seek Central assistance for restoration work after the havoc caused by Fani.
The Chief Minister also suggested that pending consideration of this request, the states hit by major calamities may be declared as ‘Special Focus States’ and granted benefits of a special category status for a specific period.
“This will help reconstruction of infrastructure and restoration of livelihoods not only in Odisha but all state that are hit by major natural calamity,” Patnaik said.
Chief Minister Patnaik also apprised the Prime Minister of the unique geo-climatic conditions of Odisha that makes it vulnerable to multiple and frequent natural disasters, stressing that during the period from 1900 to 2019, the state had been plagued by disaster like floods, cyclone or drought every year.
“It has been affected by about 35 percent of all the cyclonic and severe cyclonic storms that has crossed the eastern coast of India,” he stressed.
He also briefed the Prime Minister about the scale of destruction that cyclone Fani had caused to the property and livelihoods of Odiya people.
“About 5.6 lakh houses have been damaged, millions of trees have been uprooted and crops, orchards and animals have perished. Public infrastructure like electricity transmission and distribution, drinking water supply, roads and bridges, canal embankments, health centers, school buildings and community assets have suffered huge damage,” the Chief Minister said.
He urged the Prime Minister to sanction five lakh Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Gramin) special houses for Odisha on a 90:10 central-state sharing basis as a special case. He also requested the central government to waive off the Permanent Wait List (PWL) criterion for this special allocation.
The Chief Minister has sought Rs 5,228-crore assistance from the National Disaster Response Fund immediately to meet the expenditure of the ongoing relief and restoration works in Fani-affected areas.
This was Patnaik’s first official meeting with Modi after the elections.