18 January 2019
Bhubaneswar: Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik today once again dashed letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi for according the State with its longstanding demand of Special Category Status so that it supports the fast pace and inclusive development of Odisha.
“It is in this premise of historical Central neglect and frequent natural calamities that my Government has been demanding Special Category Status for Odisha which will supplement our efforts in transforming the State. Odisha is registering a growth rate higher than the nation's growth rate. Providing Special Category Status will further accelerate industrial development and in turn more jobs for our youth. Kindly consider Odisha's request as a unique one and support us in the fast pace, inclusive development of Odisha,” the CM argues.
The letter mentions, “The very severe cyclonic storm 'Titli' which hit Odisha coast on 11th October, 2018 triggered high velocity wind and torrential rainfall over a large part of Odisha causing heavy floods and inundation, uprooting trees and large scale damage to standing crops, dwelling houses and public infrastructure including roads, bridges, power distribution, drinking water and Irrigation systems. The State Government has taken all possible measures to secure life and property; to provide relief to people; and to restore connectivity, power and drinking water supply. We now face a daunting long term task of recovery, reconstruction and rehabilitation that require huge resources.”
It further mentions, “It is evident that the unique geo-climatic conditions of Odisha make it vulnerable to multiple and recurring natural disasters. During the period from 1900 to 2018, the State has experienced one or the other disasters like flood, cyclone, tornado or drought every year. In some years, we have faced multiple disasters in the same year. More than 80 per cent of the geographical area and nearly 90 per cent of population of our State are vulnerable to one or more disasters.”
Also the letter states, “Amongst all the natural disasters afflicting the State, cyclones and floods are the most frequent and devastating. Odisha has been affected by about 35 per cent of all the cyclonic and severe cyclonic storms that have crossed the eastern coast of India. With the current trend of the climatic change, the coastal areas of Odisha are likely to be more vulnerable to extreme climatic events and severe cyclonic disturbances. The pattern of drought in the State is also of great concern as drought invariably affects the State, sometimes in entirety and at other times in some regions or districts.”
“Further, the nation benefits immensely from the natural resources of Odisha. In fact, the iron ore deposits and other minerals have contributed significantly to nation building throughout the years. Odisha plays a major role in the energy security of the country through its coal deposits. Railways get among their highest profits from Odisha. However, successive Central Government have neglected Odisha. It is a fact that Odisha remains at the bottom in the country in most Central subjects like: i. Tele density. ii. Railway network. iii. Banking network and coverage. iv. National Highways v. Air connectivity,” the Odisha CM has pointed out.