Bhubaneswar: Restoration work in cyclone Fani-hit Odisha is on in full swing. With the power and water supply worst hit, the state has launched a ‘helping hands’ initiative under which around 260 ITI trainees are in the capital city. These trainees are going from house to house to address people’s complaints with electrical appliances or plumbing.
Addressing media, state Information and Public Relations Secretary Sanjay Singh said on Friday, “We’re going to intensify the initiative of ‘helping hand’ in the days to come. We are going to take up this work in Puri. Water supply has been restored in all urban areas, both in quality and quantity.”
He added that around 3,500 quintals of dry food has been distributed in Puri and Khordha districts. “We have already made available adequate quantity of rice in all affected districts. We are providing free kitchens where people come and have their meal.”
Officials said that drinking water has been made available in most parts of the 14 districts affected by cyclone Fani. However, power supply is still to be fully restored as 1.56 lakh electric poles were either uprooted or severely damaged in the cyclone.
About 50 per cent of Bhubaneswar residents have been provided power connection but the entire Puri district remains in darkness.
The state government said it would be able to fully restore power in Bhubaneswar by May 12 while a part of Puri town may get electricity by the same time.
Energy Secretary Hemant Sharma said, “We have engaged skilled manpower both in Puri and Khurda districts for a speedy restoration of power. However, the process is taking time due to the massive devastation caused to the power infrastructure.”
Last Friday, the ‘extremely severe’ cyclone Fani made its landfall near Puri affecting more than 1.5 crore people in 14 districts and destroying all power infrastructure and telecommunication.
A situation report released by the special relief commissioner’s office said at least 41 people had died and 5.08 lakh houses were damaged. Casualty to over 34.56 lakh livestock has also been reported.