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Week after Cyclone Fani, bank services partially resume in Odisha; power, telecom network being restored at slow pace

Bhubaneswar: After being crippled for about a week due to Cyclone Fani, banking services partially resumed in coastal Odisha on Thursday even as work for restoration of power and telecom infrastructure severely ravaged in the disaster moved at a slow pace, officials said.

The banking service has been made operational in certain urban pockets of Puri, Bhubaneswar, Cuttack, Jagtsinghpur and Kendrapara. Some bank branches and ATMs started functioning due to restoration of power and internet service, Information and Public Relations secretary Sanjay Singh told reporters while briefing them about post-cyclone restoration work.

 Week after Cyclone Fani, bank services partially resume in Odisha; power, telecom network being restored at slow pace

Cyclone Fani, one of the biggest to hit India in years, barrelled into Bangladesh on 4 May after leaving a trail of deadly destruction in India. AFP

Singh said human casualty in the calamity remained unchanged at 41 across the state. The official said the government has achieved its goal of providing drinking water to all the affected places, including the worst hit Puri, where the cyclone had made a landfall on 3 May.

Normal water supply in all the cyclone affected urban local bodies has been fully restored, Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) B P Sethi said.

In regard to banking service, Singh said there are at least 2,359 ATMs in the cyclone-hit towns of Puri, Khurda, Bhubaneswar, Cuttack, Jagatsinghpur and Kendrapara. Of these, 596 ATMs have been made functional by Thursday, he said.

Singh said of the 1,690 bank branches, 928 have been operational in Puri, Khurda, Bhubaneswar, Cuttack, Jagatsinghpur and Kendrapara towns. Asked about the banking service in the state capital of Bhubaneswar, Singh said there are 707 bank branches in Khurda and Bhubaneswar of which 372 have been operational. Of the 1,164 ATMs in these two towns, 197 have been made operational.

Similarly in Cuttack, the official said of the 422 bank branches, 260 have been operational and of 593 ATMs, people can withdraw cash from 162. In Jagatsinghpur, of the 178 bank branches, 123 have been operational and 112 ATMs function of the total 196.

In Kendrapara, there are 144 bank branches of which 113 have been made functional. Of total 169 ATMs, 105 have started delivering services, Singh said.

Meanwhile, the Reserve Bank of India has asked all the operational banks to keep the branches open till 6 pm in the evening to cater to needs of the people battered by the severe cyclonic storm. Singh said the state government has also asked the insurance companies to start survey work and ensure that the affected people get compensation without much delay.

An unofficial source said that the total amount of insurance claim due to cyclone Fani in coastal Odisha was estimated to be Rs 2,000 crore.

Union Minister Dharmandra Pradhan also reviewed the post cyclone restoration of train services on Thursday. Normalcy is returning in the Khurda division which was severely hit in the cyclone. Of total 18 trains running to Puri, 10 have started operating, he said.

Asked about the availability of fuel in Puri town, Pradhan said of the 52 filling station in the holy town, 29 were affected in the calamity. Twenty-two of them have been operation in the post cyclone restoration activities, he said.

As power supply is key to operation of water supply, banking service, telecom service, health service and ATM operations, a state government spokesman said, "We will be able to fully restore power supply in the state capital by 12 May".

Singh said power restoration work is picking up with addition of extra skilled manpower from the states like West Bengal, Telengana and Andhra Pradesh. While 80 per cent of electricity consumers will get power by 10 May, the process will be completed by 12 May in Bhubaneswar, Singh said, adding that power restoration will be done in a phased manner in Puri town from 12 May.

Cyclone Fani has damaged five 400 kv towers, 21 130 kv towers, four 220 kv grids, and four 132 kv grids in Puri. Similarly, 5,030 kilometers of 33 kv lines, 38613 kms of 11 kv line, 11077 distribution transformers, and 79485 kms of low tension lines have been damaged in the calamity. Over 1.56 lakh new electric poles have been uprooted in the extremely severe Cyclone Fani.

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Updated Date: May 09, 2019 23:53:01 IST