‘508 persons killed this year in disaster caused by rains’

New Delhi: As many as 508 persons were killed due to heavy rains, floods and landslides this year so far and Rs 9,382.80 crore has been allocated as central share to all states’ disaster relief fund accounts for 2017-18, parliament was informed on Thursday.

Various parts of Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Maharashtra, Manipur, Mizoram, Nagaland, Odisha, Punjab, Rajasthan, Sikkim, Tripura, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand and West Bengal were affected by heavy rains, flash floods and rain oriented calamities during the current southwest monsoon season, Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju told the Rajya Sabha in a written reply.

“As per the information of damage received from these states, 508 persons have lost their lives, 24,811 cattle heads have perished, 63,215 houses have been damaged and about 2.8 lakh hectares of crop have been affected,” he said.

“An amount of Rs 9,382.80 crore has been allocated as central share to all the states in their SDRF (state disaster response force) accounts for the year 2017-18 and an amount of Rs 3,387.15 crore has so far been released to 21 states. In addition, financial assistance from NDRF amounting to Rs 1,555.84 crore has been provided to different states for the same period so far.”

Rijiju said India receives heavy rainfall from June to September every year during the southwest monsoon season, but the rainfall during this period accounts for about 70 to 90 per cent of the total annual rainfall.

“(As much as) 89 per cent area across the India received excess normal rainfall and 11 per cent received deficient rainfall till date.”

Rijiju said that Assam faced two waves of floods till July 19 affecting 29 out of 33 districts which resulted loss of human lives, livestock and large scale damage to dwellings.

He said that the state government is closely monitoring rescue and relief operations in all the affected districts to deal with any eventuality and the Home Ministry was also keeping constant round the clock watch on the situation in the country.

The Home Ministry has deployed 88 specialised National Disaster Response Force in 26 states/ union territories with 304 boats and necessary search and rescue equipment, he added.