NCP demands Army to handle flood relief in Orissa

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Bhubaneswar, Sep 21 (UNI) Expressing concern over the ''inadequate relief operation'' in the flood-hit areas by the Orissa government, Nationalist Congress Party state president Bijay Mohapatra today demanded that the Army should be called in to help the distressed people.

Mr Mohapatra, who visited some of the flood-affected areas, told newspersons here that thousands of people in the marooned areas were still spending sleepless nights on rooftops without food and relief as the rescue teams failed to reach them.

He said many people would die if no help reached them in the next 24 hours and asked the state government to take the help of the Army to rescue the marooned people.

The NCP Orissa president said at least 500 mechanised boats and more than 2,000 country boats needed to be deployed in Kendrapara, the worst-affected district in coastal Orissa, for the rescue and relief work.

As many as 30 breaches occurred till today on Luna, Chitrotpala, Paika and Mahanadi river, he said.

Mr Mohapatra said the damage caused due to the recent flood in the state was massive and much more than the floods in 1982, 2001 and 2006. He supported the state government's demand to declare the flood as a national disaster.

He criticised the government for the alleged mismanagement in maintaining the water reserve level at Hirakud reservoir.

Mr Mohapatra said he had apprised Union Agriculture Minister and NCP supremo Sharad Pawar of the flood situation and requested him to visit the state.

The communication between Paradeep-Cuttack, Kendrapara-Cuttack and Kendrapara-Paradeep had been cut off and no relief had reached the affected people in the area, he added.

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