The Union government and World Bank today signed a $ 153 million loan agreement for funding Phailin recovery project in Odisha.
The project is aimed at restoring and improving housing and public services in the impacted areas of the state and increase the capacity of the government entities to respond promptly and effectively during similar crisis in future.
Cyclone Phailin, which made a landfall on the southern coast of Odisha during October 2013 at a windspeed of 200 km an hour, had affected half a million hectares of farm land and damaged 80 per cent of the power transmission infrastructure in the coastal areas. The storm hit 99 blocks, 1,895 gram panchayats, 14,514 villages, 39 urban local bodies and 123 wards across the state. However, due to massive evacuation undertaken by the state government, the human casualty in the calamity was minimal.
The recovery project is expected to benefit nearly 150,000 people in the coastal areas of Ganjam, Puri and Khordha districts as their damaged houses rebuilt under the programme, which also envisages rehabilitation of about 30,000 inhabitants in selected slums of Berhampur city, out of which about 50 per cent are female.
The prime focus of the project will be to enhance the disaster risk management systems. In addition, it will help build institutional capacity to prepare for and manage the impact of natural disasters and help people protect themselves from natural disasters and recover quickly from them.
Apart from targeted communities, the entire population of Berhampur (around 350,000), will benefit directly or indirectly from the improvements expected to result from the master plans. The entire Odisha population (42 million) will also benefit from increased capacity to manage and respond to disasters, said a release of the Union government.
The project will focus on five key areas such as building of cyclone resilient houses and community infrastructure, urban infrastructure in Berhampur, capacity building for disaster risk management, implementation support, and contingent emergency response.
It will be implemented over a period of five years under the supervision of the state government, the Union Finance Ministry said in a statement.