Orissa seeks Rs.9.7 bn to fight calamities

March 19th, 2008 - 1:39 pm ICT by admin  

A file-photo of Manmohan Singh

Bhubaneswar, March 19 (IANS) Orissa, which is prone to floods and cyclones, has sought over Rs.9.7 billion from the central funds to take steps to fight natural calamities in the future, an official said here Wednesday. “The state government has sought as much as Rs.970.42 crore (over Rs.9.7 billion) financial assistance from the central government to take various measures,” an official of the state revenue department told IANS.

The state has already taken several measures, but more steps are required to save the people and the coasts from future disasters, he said.

Orissa witnessed one of the deadliest cyclones in October 1999 that killed almost 10,000 people and 400,000 livestock. Almost two million houses and over 1.8 million hectares of crop were destroyed in 12 of the state’s 30 districts.

The new initiatives the government plans to take include launching a cyclone risk mitigation programme across the state, build embankments and set up infrastructure like cyclone shelters, the official said.

“One of the two proposals that we submitted to the centre is to carry out a cyclone risk mitigation programme. The state has sought Rs.609 crore (over Rs.6 billion) for this,” he said.

The government has sought Rs.1.9 billion to build embankments and another Rs.1.9 billion to improve connectivity, he said. Orissa has also asked for funds to build a cyclone alert system and to create mangrove forests along its 480-km coastline.

A delegation of the state legislative assembly will soon take up the matter with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, the official added.

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