Odisha Forum, Delhi suggests underground cables for power,telecommunication in coastal areas

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New Delhi: Odisha is vulnerable to cyclones, having suffered 4 severe cyclonic storms in the last 20 years, Odisha Forum, a think tank based in Delhi, has suggested that all coastal areas in Odisha should have underground cables for power and telecommunication. This would prevent long break down in electricity, water supply and communications which has become a regular feature after every cyclone. The Forum suggested that a Techno-Economic Feasibility Report should be immediately prepared by the government and they may approach the World Bank or some such international
organisation for its implementation.

This proposal was put up by a delegation led by Gokul Patnaik IAS (retd), who met Mr. Vivek Bharadwaj, Additional Secretary (Home) at Delhi today. Mr Bharadwaj is the leader of the Central Team, which recently retuned from Odisha after making an assessment of the damage caused by extremely severe cyclone Fani and is yet to submit its report to the Central Government.

The Odisha Forum also suggested a slew of long term. Medium term and short term measures for relief. Rehabilitation and reconstruction. Among these measures, the Forum has suggested an additional special grant of Rs. 500 crores under PMAY for reconstruction of houses damaged by Fani and sharing of the same with the State Government on 90:10 basis. They have also suggested relaxation of norms for paddy procurement and provision of adequate quantity of seed, fertiliser and other inputs for the next crop.

The Forum has also asked for increase in the norms of compensation for loss of animals including poultry and fishery infrastructure. The delegation included Sidharth Pradhan IRS (retd), Charudatta Panigrahi, Ravi Pradhan and Ashok Panda, Advocate.

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