By Bizodisha Bureau, Bhubaneshwar, May 16, 2019: Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has reiterated his demand for special category status for the state in the aftermath of Cyclone Fani that battered the state leaving 64 dead and hundreds injured.

“In fact, this is one of our main demands before the Union government. Odisha faces natural calamities almost every year. The assistance we get from the Centre is mostly for temporary restoration of infrastructure. We have to spend a lot from the state’s own funds to work for the long-term,” Patnaik said.

“This puts too much stress on our finances. Precisely for this reason, Odisha should be considered for special category status. In the last five years we had Phailin, Hudhud, Titli and now Fani. In addition to this, we had massive floods,” he added.

Patnaik also said, “We are maintaining a growth rate higher than that of the country. We are doing so well in all our economic indicators. Providing special category status will help us accelerate growth.”

Earlier, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who had conducted an aerial survey of the state on 6 May, had announced an assistance of Rs 1,000 crores.

However, Opposition parties do not see any merit in the demand. The Congress and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) have termed it a political stunt.

The ruling BJD justified the demand for special category status saying that the state, apart from being prone to natural calamities, has a high concentration of people from the SC and ST communities.

Leave a Reply

Be the First to Comment!

Notify of