Rain-soaked Orissa proves a dampener for PM visit | india | Hindustan Times
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Rain-soaked Orissa proves a dampener for PM visit

Continuous heavy showers in Orissa's coastal districts force Manmohan Singh to cut short his two-day trip to the state.

india Updated: Aug 29, 2006 14:36 IST

Heavy rain has forced Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to cut short his two-day visit to Orissa.

The prime minister was scheduled to fly by helicopter to Tusra in Bolangir district and then visit Sunabeda area of Koraput in the impoverished Koraput-Bolangir-Kalahandi region before leaving for the Andhra Pradesh port town of Visakhapatnam on Tuesday afternoon.

"The heavy rainfall along the Orissa coast between Bhubaneswar and Visakhapatnam has forced Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to cancel his visit to the KBK region of Orissa.

"The PM's helicopters could not leave Bhubaneswar due to bad weather," said a statement from the Prime Minister's Office (PMO).

Even an alternate plan to fly to Visakhapatnam and go from there by helicopter to Koraput had be called off after the Air Force reported bad landing conditions.

Rains have cast a dampener on the trip since the prime minister landed in the state Monday.

On Monday, he had to cancel his visit to Kaniha in Angul district. Instead, he dedicated the 3,000 MW Talcher Super Thermal Power Station, India's largest power plant, to the nation through video-conferencing.

His scheduled visit to the distressed hinterlands of Orissa was the first since he assumed office and was to focus on the issue of development in some of the most backward areas that are turning into the theatre of ultra-Left politics.

Manmohan Singh was keen to examine the impact of his government's poverty alleviation programme in the impoverished territory of KBK region, synonymous with starvation deaths and Maoist violence.

The districts have received attention from the government under the National Rural Employment Guarantee Programme and the Bharat Nirman project.