Cyclone Fani: Power situation improves in 9 of 10 districts in Odisha

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Published: May 8, 2019 7:57:51 PM

Power situation in eight of the nine cyclone-hit districts of Odisha has improved but the functioning of a few ATMs still remained affected due to non-availability of telecom services, the Union Home Ministry said Wednesday.

The state government, in coordination with the Centre, has prepared a detailed plan identifying priority areas for restoring power and telecom facilities in Puri and Bhubaneswar. (PTI Photo)The state government, in coordination with the Centre, has prepared a detailed plan identifying priority areas for restoring power and telecom facilities in Puri and Bhubaneswar. (PTI Photo)

Power situation in eight of the nine cyclone-hit districts of Odisha has improved but the functioning of a few ATMs still remained affected due to non-availability of telecom services, the Union Home Ministry said Wednesday. The National Crisis Management Committee (NCMC), headed by Cabinet Secretary P K Sinha, again reviewed the rescue and relief measures in Fani-hit areas with senior officials of the Odisha government and central ministries and agencies.

The state government informed the Centre that situation in eight out of nine districts has improved and power and telecom services are gradually picking up in the worst-affected areas of Puri and Bhubaneswar, a home ministry statement said. While banking services resumed in Puri, non-availability of electricity supply and telecom connectivity hampered the functioning of a few ATMs, it said. Nearly 3,500 gang men are engaged in restoring power transmission lines, sub-stations etc. and more workers would reach Odisha from West Bengal and Telangana soon.

Landline phone services in Puri have started functioning and BSNL and other telecom service providers have also somewhat improved their mobile services. The state government, in coordination with the Centre, has prepared a detailed plan identifying priority areas for restoring power and telecom facilities in Puri and Bhubaneswar. Water supply in urban and rural areas has been restored to a large extent with the help of diesel generator sets.

The Odisha government said it has received the additional financial assistance of Rs 1,000 crore released by the central government. The Department of Telecommunications is coordinating with the Odisha government and all telecom service providers to implement the priority plan for quick restoration of mobile and internet services in the areas affected by the cyclone. The Railways have commenced partial operations between Khurda Road and Puri by running three express and mail trains.

Full restoration is expected by May 12. The Railways is also providing free transportation to workmen deployed for restoration of power infrastructure. Reviewing the relief measures, the cabinet secretary asked officials to focus on implementation of the priority plan prepared to restore power and telecommunications in Puri and Bhubaneswar and monitor day-to-day progress.

Following a request from the Odisha government, a central team is expected to visit the state soon to assess the extent of damage caused by the cyclone. The chief secretary and other senior officers of the state participated in the NCMC meeting through a video link. Senior officers from ministries of Home, Power, Telecommunications, Railways and NDMA attended the meeting.

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