In view of cyclone "Fani", the Election Commission of India (ECI) on Tuesday approved a proposal for lifting the provisions of the Model Code of Conduct (MCC) in the eleven coastal districts of Odisha to facilitate speedy rescue, relief and restoration activities.
Kashinath Sahoo, Deputy Chief Electoral Officer-cum-Deputy Secretary to Government, wrote a letter to the Chief Secretary, Odisha to intimate the decision of the poll body.
"The Election Commission of India have approved the proposal of lifting the provisions of the Model Code of Conduct in the districts of Puri, Jagatsinghpur, Kendrapara, Bhadrak, Balasore, Mayurbhaj, Gajapati, Ganjam, Khurda, Cuttack and Jajpur in order to facilitate speedy rescue, relief and restoration activities to successfully face cyclone "Fani" as recommended by the Screening Committee of the State Government," the letter read.
Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had on Tuesday sent a letter to the Election Commission requesting withdrawal of the MCC from all coastal districts to make it easier for the government to handle the impending cyclonic storm "Fani" in the state.
He said that in the backdrop of the simultaneous Lok Sabha and Assembly polls in Odisha ending on April 29, the model code should be " completely removed for all coastal districts of the state so that the government can handle the situation keeping the safety of people in mind".
Terming the threat of the storm "extremely severe", Patnaik said, "The cyclone is expected to make landfall in Kendrapara district with a wind speed of 200 Kms per hour and with a very high storm surge. The response to a cyclone of this magnitude has to be immediate, effective and sharp in order to prevent loss of life".
The India Meteorological Department (IMD) on Tuesday issued a "yellow warning" for Odisha coast predicting heavy to very heavy rainfall at Boudh, Kalahandi, Sambalpur, Deogarh, and Sundargarh.