STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE
Bhubaneswar, 25 October
Industry circles here have expressed shock and dismay over how the government has ignored the devastation to hundreds of micro, medium and small industries in cyclone Phailin and the subsequent floods.
A fact finding team of the Odisha Industries Federation which toured affected districts, including worst-hit worst-hit Ganjam and Puri, said that government officials have not even bothered to estimate the loss to the industry sector.
Most of the industries belonging to Micro & Small Sector have been ravaged due to the Phailin in Ganjam, Nayagarh, Puri, Jagatsinghpur and also flood affected districts of Bhadrak, Balasore, Mayurbhanj, Jajpur etc. The government has neither made any estimation of losses nor demanded any package for revival of MSME sector from the central government, lamented the Federation.
The Federation has sent its field visit report to the state government. At Hinjili, the CM home constituency, several rice mills and granite units, power looms etc have collapsed. There is no electricity in the area and it will take years for the small entrepreneurs to stand on their feet.
It is estimated that out of 400 rice mills in Ganjam district at least 270 units have been affected causing a loss of about Rs 540 crore. Out of the 36 granite manufacturing units about 23 units have been ravaged with a loss of about 50 crores. Fifty five cashew processing units have been destroyed with an estimated loss Rs 45 crores. About 150 kewda distillation plants have been destroyed causing a loss of about 100 crores to the sector, said the Federation report.
Almost all the salt fields have been washed away causing a loss of about Rs 50 crores Most devastating impact has been on the broiler and layer farms at Gobindpur near Chhatrapur.
Still worse is the fact that the entire area is stinking with dead and rotting broiler birds which can give rise to epidemic if immediate steps are not taken. Out of 37 such farms in the district about 25 has been completely destroyed causing a loss of about Rs 100 crores to the farmers.
The Federation has estimated loss the loss to be over Rs 950 plus crore.
In a discussion with the district industries officials at Berhampur it was found that they do not have the required infrastructures nor capabilities to study the impact and send a realistic report to the government about the damages suffered.
It is surprising that no high level officials of Directorate of Industries or Department of MSME has visited the affected areas and studied the matter till date, said Sarat Sahoo, chairman of the Federation.
A high level committee of the state government should immediately assess the situation and announce a revival package.
While everybody was talking about relief and rescue operations, the fact is that homeless and marooned people in the ‘focus’ district of Ganjam had not received relief material even after 10 days of the cyclone, charged one of the team members.
He agreed with the Opposition political parties view that ‘media management and not relief management’ happens to be top priority of the Naveen Patnaik government.