Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik on Friday said he has not sought any relief package for the devastation caused by Cyclone Yaas from the Centre, which is already hard-pressed in warding off the threat posed by the coronavirus outbreak.
Patnaik took to Twitter to inform that his government would overcome the crisis through state resources and not burden the central government at a time when the country is witnessing the peak of COVID-19 pandemic.
“As the country is at the peak of COVID19 pandemic, we have not sought any immediate financial assistance to burden the Central Govt and would like to manage it through our own resources to tide over the crisis,” Patnaik tweeted.
As the country is at the peak of #COVID19 pandemic, we have not sought any immediate financial assistance to burden the Central Govt and would like to manage it through our own resources to tide over the crisis. #OdishaFightsYaas pic.twitter.com/1ScXEBp6LF— Naveen Patnaik (@Naveen_Odisha) May 28, 2021
The tweet by Odisha CM came against the backdrop of a review meeting between the state administration with PM Modi in Bhubaneswar on Friday over the damages caused by Cyclone Yaas. Patnaik appraised PM Modi of the large-scale devastation caused by the cyclone during the meeting. He also informed about the steps taken by the state government ahead of the cyclone and the ongoing relief efforts.
However, Patnaik did seek assistance for long-term measures to make Odisha disaster-resilient, pointing out the number of cyclones that frequently hit the coastal state.
“Sought assistance for long-term measures to make Odisha disaster resilient as we are frequented by such climate hazards every year. Highlighted Odisha’s demand for disaster resilient power infrastructure and resilient coastal protection with storm surge resilient embankments,” he added.
Odisha CM Patnaik had received PM Modi at the airport and had discussed the relief measures in a review meeting.
West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee complained of ‘discrimination’ over relief money even before cyclone Yaas came
West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee had earlier cried discrimination over Cyclone Yaas relief money even before the cyclone came and while the Met department had predicted a worse impact in Odisha than Bengal.
While addressing a press conference, Mamata Banerjee said: “MHA assured an advance relief of Rs 600 crores to Odisha and Andhra Pradesh but only Rs 400 crores to West Bengal. This is discriminatory.”
Interestingly, during last year’s Amaphan, despite PM Modi clearly announcing advanced interim assistance of Rs 1,000 crore for the cyclone-hit West Bengal, Mamata Banerjee had alleged that there was no clarity on the economic assistance provided by the central government.
It is also notable here that the TMC government’s Amphan relief saw massive allegations of corruption and party cadre were given compensation for cyclone damage. The reports of undeserving candidates receiving compensation for cyclone relief just because of their association with TMC had caused a major embarrassment for the Mamata government last year.