The central government on Wednesday announced a assistance of Rs.815 crore from the National Disaster Relief Fund (NDRF) for drought hit areas of Odisha. 

The assistance was announced after a meeting of the High Level Committee chaired by Home Minister Rajnath Singh examined the proposals based on report of the central team that had visited the affected districts. 

Union Minister for Finance, Corporate Affairs and Information and Broadcasting Arun Jaitley, Minister for Agriculture & Farmers’ Welfare Radha Mohan Singh, Vice-Chairman NITI Aayog Arvind Panagariya, Union Home Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi and senior officers of the Ministries of Home, Finance and Agriculture attended the meeting, said official sources. 

The Committee has also provided assistance to Andhra Pradesh (Rs 433.77 crore) and Uttar Pradesh (Rs.1304.52 crore). 

It may be noted here that the Odisha government had submitted an interim memorandum seeking central assistance of over Rs.2100 crore. 

“We will send a detailed final memorandum to the centre after the crop cutting reports are received from the districts by the end of this month”, said Special Relief Commissioner P K Mahapatra here. 

Reacting to the drought assistance announced, Congress leader and Leader of Opposition Narasingha Mishra said it appears that the state government has yet again failed to present its case properly before the centre and the centre, on its part, has also failed to assess the drought situation.”

“Odisha has witnessed an unprecedented number of suicide by farmers over the last three months, large scale distress related migration is taking place,” he pointed out. 

In another development at Delhi, the Home Minister, Rajnath Singh approved Additional Central Assistance (ACA) for LWE affected districts in seven states. Odisha will get Rs.57.14 crore in this regard.