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Friday, Sep 20, 2019

Odisha to roll out massive loan plan for Cylone Fani victims

As per the final loss assessment submitted by the state government to the Centre, at least 64 people were killed, 12 seriously injured and over 1.6 crore people affected in 14 districts.

india Updated: Jun 11, 2019 15:53 IST
Debabrata Mohanty
Debabrata Mohanty
Hindustan Times, Bhubaneswar
Over 30,000 fishermen lost their livelihood as close to 6,400 traditional marine fishing boats and 7,240 fishing nets were damaged in the cyclone.
Over 30,000 fishermen lost their livelihood as close to 6,400 traditional marine fishing boats and 7,240 fishing nets were damaged in the cyclone.(HT Photo)
         

The Odisha government plans to give loans upto Rs 10000 to people whose lives and property were destroyed in Puri and Khurda districts by cyclone Fani.

As per the final loss assessment submitted by the state government to the Centre, at least 64 people were killed, 12 seriously injured and over 1.6 crore people affected in 14 districts. Though the government estimates the loss to the public properties at Rs 6643.63 crores, officials say, actual loss estimate may go up several times, if the value of each of the destroyed coconut trees, banana farms, fowls, livestock, boats, fishing nets, and shops are assessed.

The disaster left a massive economic loss in its wake by ripping apart over 5.56 lakh houses fully or partially. It also destroyed crops in 1.88 lakh hectares of area and 5.32 million poultry birds were also lost or killed - the highest in any natural disaster so far.

Similarly, over 6200 large and small animals like cows, buffalo, goats and sheep died in the cyclone. In Puri district alone- the ground-zero of the cyclone- at least 1.2 million coconut palms spread over 8000 hectares were damaged, throwing the future of over 50,000 farmers into uncertainty.

Over 30,000 fishermen lost their livelihood as close to 6,400 traditional marine fishing boats and 7,240 fishing nets were damaged in the cyclone.

While the enormity of the damage to livelihoods is still under assessment, the state government is planning to lend assistance through Odisha Livelihood Mission to the extremely vulnerable poor affected by the cyclone. Mission chief executive officer, Smrutiranjan Pradhan, said that the OLM was going to help in a post-disaster scenario for the very first time after its inception.

“We want to recoup a part of the loss by providing working capital. It’s a modest approach. We want to finish the enumeration exercise by June 18 and then start giving loans. No one who is eligible will be spared. …Extremely poor & vulnerable households will not be charged interest rates,” said Pradhan. The loans would be given to affected people in all the 11 blocks of Puri and 3 blocks of Khurda districts.

The Mission plans to give loans for different needs of the affected families like house damage, crop loss, loss of livestock and wage loss.

Victims will get a maximum loan of Rs 10000 at 2% annual interest, for the treatment of minor and major illnesses, they will also get Rs 1000 to buy food grains at 1 per cent annual interest. Similarly, for buying agricultural equipments, livestock-feed and poultry birds, a maximum loan of Rs 5000 will be given with 3 per cent interest rate. Loans will have to be repaid between 3 and 24 months. Loans of up to Rs 1.5 lakh for each cluster-level federation like women self help groups have also been provisioned for.

Financial assistance to farmers, fishermen and small shopkeepers have been announced but not given due to the ongoing enumeration process.

The Puri district administration plans to dovetail the NREGS with house-building activities. Each of the 1.13 lakh damaged houses would get around Rs 18000 under NREGS as labour input for construction under Pradhan Mantri Grameen Awas Yojana.

For the time being, an amount of Rs.197.59 crore has been given to Puri district as house-building assistance for 2.87 lakh families, whose pucca or kutcha houses were either fully or partially damaged.

The money given from National Disaster Response Fund would be directly transferred to the bank accounts of the beneficiaries.

The government also started special loan-melas in all the 11 blocks of Puri district from June 10 till June 26 for the entrepreneurs affected by the cyclone in Puri district.

First Published: Jun 11, 2019 15:34 IST