BHUBANESWAR: Prone to natural calamities like cyclone, flood and tsunami, Odisha government plans to construct about 30,000 pucca houses along state's coastline, besides setting up 162 cyclone and flood shelters in the coastal region.
"We have plans to spend Rs 3 lakh each for 30,000 pucca houses in the coastline. The houses will be located within five km from coastline," Revenue and Disaster management minister S N Patro said in the Assembly yesterday.
World Bank has been approached which agreed to fund the project. An amount of about Rs 2600 crore will be required for the pucca houses and cyclone-flood shelters, he said.
Replying to a discussion on supplementary demands of his department, Patro said slum dwellers of Berhampur town will also be provided with pucca houses as part of plan for long term mitigation of calamities like cyclone and floods.
The minister said cyclone Phailin which hit Odisha coast on October 12, left about 5.41 houses damaged as the wind speed was 205 kmph to 220 kmph. He said the government could save lives of many people as it undertook massive evacuation drive by shifting 9.84 lakh people to safe places.
World Bank and Asian Development Bank have agreed to provide financial assistance of about Rs 2,000 crore for undertaking calamity mitigation projects, Patro said.
The Minister, however, criticised the Centre for not coming to the rescue of the state when it required funds for relief and restoration works. Even after announcing an interim relief of Rs 1,000 crore for the state, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh released only Rs 250 crore for cyclone restoration works recently.
Assessing the damage caused by cyclone Phailin and subsequent flood at Rs 5,832.50 crore, the state government had placed a demand for equal amount to the Centre for rehabilitation and restoration works.
The damaged mangrove forest will be recreated under the Integrated Coastal Zone Management Programme, he said.
The Assembly last night approved supplementary demands of the Department through voice vote and 35 other departments through guillotine.