In 2023 so far, floods and cyclones have killed 1,224 people; destroyed over 4 lakh hectares of crop area — Central Govt tells Rajya Sabha
On August 2, while responding to a question in the Upper House the Ministry of Home Affairs provided details on losses and damages incurred due to hydro meteorological disasters — cyclones, floods and thunderstorms — in the country as of July 26, 2023.
गाँव कनेक्शन 8 Aug 2023 2:07 PM GMT
While answering the question in the Parliament, Nityanand Rai, Minister of State in the Ministry of Home Affairs mentioned that a total of 1,224 persons died in the natural disasters such as cyclones and floods in the first seven months of this year.
The highest number of 502 deaths were reported in Bihar, followed by Madhya Pradesh — 97 and Gujarat — 94.
Himachal Pradesh, the state which witnessed the worst floods in the month of July registered a loss of 88 human lives.
Furthermore, the data provided by the Union ministry in its official reply, recorded that a total of 404,676.54 hectares of crop area was affected in 2023 so far due to cyclones, floods and thunderstorms.
Such hydro-meteorological disasters also claimed 25,558 cattle lives and damaged over 61,136 houses, across the country. Uttar Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Arunachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand witnessed the least impact of such events in terms of loss of lives and damaged houses.
In an interview with Gaon Connection on the recent Haryana floods, Tejveer Singh, the spokesperson of the Bhartiya Kisan Union (Shaheed Bhagat Singh) had explained the extent of damage incurred in the villages of Haryana.
“Around seven districts are severely affected by the floods, more than five lakh (500,000) acres of land has been completely destroyed. If we only talk about Ambala district, around 100 villages are still submerged. From farmlands, houses, to cattle, the loss is on multiple fronts for farmers in the state,” he had told Gaon Connection.
Responding to the question regarding the compensation to the victims or to kins of the victims, the minister said that the scheme of financing the relief expenditure under State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF) and National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF) is based on the recommendations of the successive finance commissions.”
“The financial assistance under the SDRF and the NDRF in the wake of notified natural disasters is given by way of relief and not for compensation of loss as suffered/ claimed. In the case of loss of human lives, the extant norm provides ex-gratia payment to the families of deceased persons Rs. 4.00 lakh per deceased,” he added.
Explaining the preparedness of the government to minimize losses in the wake of such disasters, the minister informed that “the measures taken by the central and state governments have significantly improved the disaster management practices, preparedness, prevention and response mechanisms resulting in the significant reduction in casualties during natural calamities, including cyclones, in the country.”
“Further, strengthening of disaster management is a continuing and evolving process of governance,” the minister said.