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Naveen Patnaik Urges Rajnath Singh to Relax NDRF Norms to Fix Power Sector Damaged in Cyclone Fani

Meanwhile, the Central government has extended the deadlines for various Goods and Services Tax (GST) returns for taxpayers registered in cyclone-hit Odisha.

Anand ST Das | News18

Updated:May 17, 2019, 12:07 AM IST
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Naveen Patnaik Urges Rajnath Singh to Relax NDRF Norms to Fix Power Sector Damaged in Cyclone Fani
File photo depicting the devastation caused by cyclone Fani in Puri. (PTI)
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Bhubaneswar: Faced with the mammoth task of bringing back normalcy to coastal Odisha in the aftermath of Cyclone Fani, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Thursday urged Home Minister Rajnath Singh to relax the NDRF norms to restore the heavily damaged power infrastructure in 14 districts.

Patnaik, in a letter to Singh, said the norms of the National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF) for repair of damaged power sector allow financial assistance only for damaged conductors, poles and transformers and up to the level of 11 KV.

“Even the scale of admissible items is highly inadequate. Besides the large-scale damage to 11KV lines, distribution transformers and LT network admissible for repair and restoration under NDRF norms, extensive damage has also been caused to 220 KV / 132 KV towers and transmission lines; grid substations and power transformers; 33 KV poles, lines and primary substations,” Patnaik said in the letter to Singh.

The Odisha chief minister also informed the Union home minister that a preliminary report on the extent of damage to the power sector in Odisha has estimated the loss at about Rs 1,160 crore.

The unusual pre-monsoon Cyclone Fani, which was categorised as an “extremely severe cyclone”, barreled through Odisha’s coastal districts on May 3 morning, having made a landfall in Puri district and packing wind speeds close to 200 kmph. 64 people lost their lives despite the state government having shifted 11 lakh people from areas close to the sea a day before the cyclone’s landfall. The massive evacuation measure that was widely hailed.

Patnaik told Singh in the letter that power infrastructure in Puri district and parts of other districts has been extensively damaged by the cyclone. “Transmission and distribution is an integrated network consisting of extra high tension, high tension and low tension,” wrote Patnaik while reminding the Union minister of the inadequacy of the NDRF norms for restoration cost of damaged power sector infrastructure in wake of the natural disasters.

“It is requested that the NDRF norms may be relaxed to provide for actual cost of restoration of the entire power infrastructure damaged by the extremely severe Cyclonic Storm Fani,” wrote the Odisha CM.

Meanwhile, the Central government has extended the deadlines for various Goods and Services Tax (GST) returns for taxpayers registered in cyclone-hit Odisha.

State Information and Public Relations Secretary Sanjay Kumar Singh said the Central government has extended the filing of GST returns in 14 cyclone affected districts.

The deadline for the GST returns (GSTR-3B) for the month of April 2019 has been extended to June 20. It was supposed to be filed by May 20. The deadline for Form GSTR-1 (sales return) has been extended to June 10, said Singh.

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| Edited by: Sana Fazili
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