With the Met department forecasting a further dip in mercury in Odisha over the next few days, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik announced winter assistance of Rs 146 crore for the needy.
As many as 48 lakh beneficiaries of the Madhu Babu Pension Yojana and National Pension System will get Rs 300 each to buy blankets, a release issued by the chief minister’s office said, adding the amount will be credited by December 1.
While reviewing the cold conditions in the state during a meeting with top officials on Friday evening, Patnaik asked officials to ensure the safety of the poor, especially the elderly, during the winter session.
He said that as per available data, the conditions in the tribal-dominated Kandhamal and Koraput districts were severe.
Patnaik advised the Panchayati Raj and Urban Development departments, and district collectors and civic authorities to take immediate action to ensure that no one remained unattended or in a helpless condition during the chilly nights.
So far, 855 traveller shelters have been opened across the state.
During the meeting, it was also resolved that officials can turn panchayat offices and school buildings into night shelters wherever necessary.
Steps will be taken to ensure that all beneficiaries receive the winter aid in their accounts on November 30 and December 1. The India Meteorological Department (IMD) said that the minimum temperatures are very likely to fall by 2-3 degree Celsius in a few places in Odisha during the next 24 hours and no large change thereafter.
At least 19 places recorded temperatures below 15 degrees Celsius, with Kirei in Sundergarh district recording the lowest of 9.5 degrees Celsius followed by G Udaygiri (10), Daringbadi and Phulbani (10.5), Sambalpur’s Chipilima (10.8) and Koraput’s Similiguda (10.9).
The minimum temperatures in the twin cities of Bhubaneswar and Cuttack were 14.5 degrees Celsius and 15 degrees Celsius respectively.
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