SBI reopens most branches in Odisha, Also opened CM Relief Fund

Mumbai: State Bank of India Monday said it has made operational most of its branches in Odisha, the bank has also opened Chief Minister’s Relief Fund account for citizens to donate funds for the affected individuals in the state.

Meanwhile, the death toll due to cyclone ‘Fani’ rose to 35 in Odisha, as lakhs of people still grapple with water shortage and snapped power supply, three days after the storm barrelled through the coastal parts of the state, an official said.

The toll was 34 Sunday. A fresh casualty was reported from the Kendrapara district Monday, Special Relief Commissioner (SRC), B P Sethi, said. While a maximum of 21 people died in Puri, four deaths each were reported from Mayurbhanj and Jajpur, and three each in Cuttack and Kendrapara, Sethi said, adding at least 160 people were admitted to hospitals in Puri district with injuries. Unable to get water, and as their miseries compounded with each passing day, groups of angry residents hit the streets at several places in the state capital.

severely damaging the power infrastructure

Demanding immediate supply of drinking water, thousands of demonstrators staged road blockade at around half-a-dozen locations including Patia, Biju Patnaik Chhak and Rasulgarh on Monday, giving the administration a tough time, a police official said.

With the ‘Fani’ severely damaging the power infrastructure, a host of key sectors including banking service have virtually came to a halt with long queues witnessed outside ATMs and petrol pumps, while patient care in hospitals and works in private and government offices remained paralysed.

Among the worst hit are students from other states as they are unable to purchase essentials including food due to a cash crunch. Energy Secretary Hemant Sharma, who had earlier claimed that power supply would be restored in most areas of Bhubaneswar soon, said at least 10,000 manpower are required for quick restoration work, but the government at present only has 1,000 men at its disposal.

While 25 percent of consumers will get electricity in Bhubaneswar on Tuesday, restoration of power supply in Puri will take a long time in view of massive damage caused to the power infrastructure in the pilgrim town, he said, adding more than 30 lakh power consumers were hit by the cyclone.

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