Declare Orissa flood as national disaster: Naveen

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Bhubaneswar, Sep 20 (UNI) Orissa Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik today urged Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to declare the floods as national disaster and sought a central assistance of Rs 1500 crores from the National Calamity Contingency Fund to undertake relief and rehabilitation in the flood-hit areas of the state.

In a letter to the Prime Minister, Mr Patnaik has apprised him of the flood situation in the state and sought assistance, while demanding that the flood be declared as national calamity.

The Chief Minister, who made an aerial survey of the flood ravaged coastal districts along with State Revenue Minister Manmohan Samal, said the flood has caused a devastation in Orissa with the flow of 15.82 lakh cusecs of water in the Mahanadi system following heavy rains triggerred by deep depression in the Bay of Bengal.

The unprecedented flood, the Chief Minister said, had damaged nearly Rs 2500 crores worth property as per a preliminary assessment affecting two million people spread over 110 blocks in 17 of the total 30 districts.

Mr Pattnaik said continuous natural calamities had badly affected the economy of the state and urged the Prime Minister to release Rs 1500 crore from the National Calamity Contingency Fund considering the magnitude of the flood.

He said the government has already initiated steps on a war footing basis to face the flood and undertake the relief and rehabilitation measures in the flood affected areas.

UNI DP KK RN2009

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