Bhubaneswar: Titli cyclone has wreaked havoc in Odisha and Andhra Pradesh and now politics is being played over it. Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan visited the state on Thursday and was far from happy with the relief and rehabilitation work in the state. Rattling out the problems to the media, he said, “Titli has destroyed this area of Gajapati. It has been eight days since it made a landfall. Electricity hasn’t been restored, people haven’t been given proper relief, the situation isn’t good. The administration is nowhere to be seen. I request the state government to help people.” Also Read - 'Orders From God': 72-Year-Old Odisha Priest Dreams Human Sacrifice Will Ward Off Coronavirus, Chops Off Man’s Head Inside Temple
Pradhan, a native of Odisha, belongs to the BJP while the state has BJD government in the state. His outburst comes on the heels of the state government’s announcement of increasing the ex-gratia. On Wednesday, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik announced a hike in the ex-gratia amount from Rs 4 lakh to Rs 10 lakh each to the next of kin of those killed during the cyclone and subsequent floods in the state. Also Read - Despite Testing Negative For Covid-19, Odisha Man Forced to Quarantine in Car Because of Stigma
Patnaik made the announcement while on a visit to Champapur village under Gangabada gram panchayat of Raigada block in the worst-hit Gajapati district. He also gave away land ‘pattas’ to all the 66 families of the Baraghar village, where 15 people were killed in a landslide. Also Read - After Jharkhand, Now Zomato And Swiggy Start Home Delivery of Alcohol in Odisha
The Chief Minister announced that pucca (concrete) houses will be built for the villagers under the ‘Biju Pucca Ghara yojona’. He also said the state government would take care of the studies of the orphan children. The Chief Minister also said free kitchen would continue in the village till people are relocated to new places.
During a briefing, Chief Secretary AP Padhi said at least 52 people were killed in three districts of Gajapati, Ganjam and Kandhamal during the calamities. Ten other persons were missing, Padhi added. He said preliminary estimates indicate a loss of about Rs 2,200 crore due to cyclone Titli.