The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) Thursday punctured the Odisha government’s claim on providing relief to the affected people and taking up restoration work in time when cyclone Phailin hit the state in October 2013. The report of the CAG that was tabled in the Odisha assembly said that though the state government could save human life through early warning system and evacuation to safer places, more could have been done to save the livestock which was the main livelihood of the affected population.
“Further, the post disaster relief measures and restoration/reconstruction measures undertaken by the government were not comprehensive. There were cases of inequitable distribution of relief and short distribution of relief material,” the report said. It said there were delays in restoration of power infrastructure, piped water supply system, roads, irrigation canals and lift irrigation projects, affecting agriculture in many districts.
“Besides, input subsidy for loss of crop was not paid and artisans were not adequately compensated for loss of livelihood. There was improper financial management as Rs.29.46 crore was sanctioned from the CRF/SDRF towards disaster preparedness in violation of government of India norms,” said the report.
Stating that there were discrepancies in the figure of evacuated people during the cyclone, the report said the government failed to manage repair and restoration activities effectively. It said 132.35 lakh people in 171 blocks, 44 urban local bodies in 18 districts were affected, 44 lost their lives and crops in 5.56 lakh hectares were reportedly damaged.
As reported by the government, 11,429 village roads were damaged due to Phailin and subsequent floods, of which only 11,321 were taken up for restoration and 9,926 were completed. The repair and restoration of the remaining 1,503 roads were not completed even after five months, said the report. It further said that in Ganjam, Puri and Balasore districts, against the assessed damage of Rs.103.20 crore to 1,060 roads, only Rs.44.41 crore was provided and 903 (85 percent) roads were restored till April 2014. (IANS)