Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik on Saturday strongly made a plea that the state needs special attention in the form of special category status in view of the state’s vulnerability to natural calamities.
Last week Patnaik demanded “special focus status” to Odisha to empower his state to meet the challenges posed by natural calamities.
Participating in the fifth meeting of the Governing Council of the NITI Aayog today, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Patnaik fervently demanded that the natural calamities be included in the list of criteria taken into consideration to accord special category status.
So far, Andhra Pradesh is the only state which has been vocally demanding special category status as ever since it lost the capital Hyderabad to the new formed Telangana state. Now, Odisha officially joined the chorus.
“As the interim measure, the states prone to natural calamities, need to be declared as special focus status and granted benefits of special category status for a specific period,” Patnaik told the meeting.
Citing the damage caused recently by cyclone Fani that battered 14 districts and killing as many as 64 people, the Odisha chief minister said his state suffered a huge loss of worth Rs 9,336. 26 crore due to cyclone fury on May 3, 2019.
Only a measure like SCS could alone equip the state to face such challenges, he added.