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Cyclone Fani: Telecom, water services in Bhubaneswar, Puri partially restored

New Delhi: Telecom and water services were partially restored in Bhubaneswar and Puri after Cyclone Fani caused extensive damage in Odisha, while work is on war footing to get back the power connections as early as possible, officials said Sunday.

The National Crisis Management Committee (NCMC), headed by Cabinet Secretary P K Sinha, reviewed relief measures in affected areas of Odisha, West Bengal and Andhra Pradesh, two days after the extremely severe cyclonic storm hit the eastern coast.

Mobile services have been restored partially in Bhubaneswar and Puri and in both the cities, about 70 per cent water supply will be restored by Sunday evening, a home ministry official said. Work is on war footing to restore the power connections, the official said.

The Indian Railways has re-introduced 85 of the 138 cancelled trains and the main line to Bhubaneswar has commenced operations while Puri will start operations in about four to five days, according to an official statement.

Flight operations to Bhubaneswar resumed with 41 flights operating Saturday, even though the local airport suffered extensive damage, it said.

During the NCMC meeting, the Odisha government has informed that power and telecommunication facilities are gradually being restored in the cyclone affected areas of the state.Major damages to the power transmission and distribution systems are reported in Bhubaneswar and Puri.

Odisha also requested for supply of storage water tanks.

The Cabinet Secretary directed that restoration of power and telecommunication facilities be accorded top priority and the Ministry of Power and the Department of Telecommunications to coordinate with the Odisha government, the statement said.

The Union Power Ministry has moved diesel generator sets of 500 KVA, 250 KVA and 125 KVA capacity and also provided workmen gangs, who are engaged in restoration of power lines and towers. Senior officials of power PSUs have been stationed in the affected areas to oversee restoration operations.

Neighbouring states of Andhra Pradesh and West Bengal have been requested to provide additional assistance to Odisha, particularly in the area of power, the statement said.

The Cabinet Secretary also suggested that public sector companies in power and oil and gas sector contribute towards relief efforts under their CSR funding. The Union Ministry of Steel has made available about 3,500 steel electric poles. Additional quantities as requested by Odisha are being arranged from other places.

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