Cyclone Titli, which struck the Uddanam area of Srikakulam earlier this month has devastated crops and tragically affected livelihoods of residents.
Following his six-day long ground visit to Titli Cyclone affected areas, Jana Sena Party Chief Pawan Kalyan lashed out at the state government on Monday regarding the meagre and inadequate relief measures taken in the Srikakulam district.
Pawan held a press meet on Monday, along with Jana Sena leader N Manohar and other leaders in Visakhapatnam. A two-minute video showing the devastating effects of Cyclone Titli on people was played for those in attendance.
Earlier the JSP chief said that he and his party restrained himself from going to the cyclone hit area as it would cause disturbance to the relief operations. He further added that they have visited 48 villages to understand the extent of the devastation in the area.
Pawan alleged that the government-run cyclone shelters were not ready, adding that if the government was prepared enough the losses incurred would have been reduced greatly.
“If the government had alerted them they would have at least prepared and had enough raw food material and water. The people are saying that they weren’t given any caution about the cyclone," he stated.
The JSP leader further alleged that the state government has yet to recognise the full extent of the losses incurred and that no financial assistance has been provided to those affected yet.
Pawan alleged that CM Chandrababu Naidu is using 'relief operations' to garner publicity and score political mileage and was trying to prove a point through the same.
“The government should show what is the kind of loss that has occurred when seeking help from the centre. It should inform the centre that Uddanam is a predominantly backward area, which has now lost almost everything, but instead the government is stating that the relief measures are going well. What can the centre do if the state doesn’t do this?” he asked.
He said that delaying clearing of cashew trees and logs from the fields would lead to fire accidents in future and also lashed out at the state government for not taking help from the Coast Guard to take up relief measures. Noting that fishermen were often a neglected community in the Uddanam region, Pawan also demanded that the state and centre both provide special relief packages for the community.
On behalf of the people, Pawan demanded a compensation of Rs 40,000 for acre paddy and Rs 3000 for each toddy tapper.
He further appealed for assistance for those who own small grocery shops and for artisans too. In addition he has demanded that the government gives considerable compensation for those who have incurred loss of any animal husbandry.
Pawan urged the state government to announce a complete waiver on loans taken by farmers in Uddanam, “If there is no support for the cyclone-hit farmers, they will be forced to migrate from the area.” He further urged that there be a Cashew Board and Coconut Board in the Srikakulam district as it is known for the same and that it would significantly help the people of the locality.
He also questioned the chief minister’s efforts and questioned whether they were anything more than “PR tactics for publicity.”
Pawan said that his party would write to the Prime Minister asking to consider the situation a special case and would provide documents of ground reports and photos, adding that if the governments fail to address the issue properly it would aggravate.