New Delhi, Aug 20 (IANS) The Centre on Tuesday approved Rs 4,432.10 crore additional assistance for Odisha, Karnataka and Himachal Pradesh, which faced natural disasters, like drought, avalanches, hailstorm and landslides, this as well as last year.
Of this, Rs 3,338.22 crore will be given to Odisha for Cyclone Fani, Rs 1029.39 crore to Karnataka for drought and Rs 64.49 crore to Himachal Pradesh for avalanches and hailstorm.
The decision to grant additional money from the National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF) was taken at a high-level committee, chaired by Union Home Minister Amit Shah. Union Ministers Nirmala Sitharaman and Narendra Singh Tomar were also present at the meeting.
“This assistance is over and above the funds released by the Centre to the State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF) already placed at the disposal of states. During 2018-19, the Centre had released Rs 9,658 crore to states and in 2019-20, Rs 6,104 crore to 24 states from the SDRF,” the Home Ministry said.
In the case of Odisha, at the onset of Cyclone Fani Rs 340.87 crore was released in advance on April 29 from the SDRF, it said.
“Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Odisha on May 6, and as announced by him, immediate assistance of Rs 1,000 crore was released. In addition, an ex gratia of Rs 2 lakh was provided to next of the kin of the deceased and Rs 50,000 to seriously injured in the cyclone from the PM Relief Fund,” said the statement.
As other states were also likely to be affected by cyclone Fani, Rs 688 crore was released in advance from the SDRF to Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal.
The committee reviewed the practice of deputing an inter-ministerial central team (IMCT) after the receipt of memorandum from the state in the wake of any severe calamity.
Thus, the Home Ministry will immediately set up and depute IMCTs to Assam, Meghalya, Tripura, Bihar, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Karnataka and Kerala affected by recent floods.
The committee also reviewed the flood situation in different parts of the country and the logistic support provided by central agencies, including deployment of the NDRF and defence forces.
“In the rescue operations in states affected by floods and landslides during the current monsoon season, the NDRF, the army, the air force, the navy and the Coast Guard have evacuated over 1,53,000 people. The flood situation is continuously being monitored by the Home Minister,” the statement said.
The Home Minister has directed senior officers to take every possible measure to deal with the situation arising out of south-west monsoon and to extend all necessary assistance to the flood-affected states.