An official of The Housing and Urban Development Department of Odisha, on Tuesday, said that according to estimates, Rs 524 crore worth of assets have been damaged by Cyclone Fani that hit the coastal areas of the state on May 3.

Housing and Urban Development Secretary, G Mathivathanan, said Rs 524 crore worth infrastructure was damaged in 53 urban local bodies in 14 districts.

The infrastructure includes 291 km of drainage system, 750 km of roads, 26,821 street light points, parks, and public and community toilets. Around 5,000 workers and 600 supervisors were engaged in sanitation work in the urban areas, he said.

Information and Public Relations Secretary Sanjay Kumar Singh said the Skill Development and Technical Education Department assessed Rs 30.50 crore damage to engineering colleges, it is, and skill development centres.

Singh said that on relief distribution, of the 17.92 lakh identified eligible beneficiaries, 16.10 lakh have received cash announced by the state government. Similarly, 15.44 lakh people received rice and 4.14 lakh of the 7.53 lakh received either polythene sheets or cash in lieu of it.

The building of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), Bhubaneswar, also suffered extensive damage from extremely strong winds of Cyclone Fani which blew away the cover of the undergraduate hostel at AIIMS.

Cyclone Fani left at least 41 dead and virtually destroyed the state’s principal tourism hubs of Puri, Konark and Bhubaneswar ~ the Odisha tourism Golden Triangle.

Following the aftermath of Cyclone Fani, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had demanded special category status for the disaster-prone state from the Centre saying that it faces natural calamities almost every year.

“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,” Patnaik said.

(With IANS inputs)