Snake bite a calamity?
Pioneer News Service / Bhubaneswar
The Orissa Government will urge the Centre to declare casualties due to elephant menace, crop loss caused by hailstorm and death because of snake-bite and lightning as natural calamities.
Addressing mediapersons here on Thursday, Revenue Minister Monmohan Samal said elephant menace in the State had caused a huge loss to the lives and properties of people. Taking this into account, the State government has decided to request the Centre to provide assistance to the victims from the Natural Calamity Relief Fund.
Similarly, the number of deaths due to lightning had increased substantially in the State. The Government has also decided to urge the Centre to include crop loss due to hailstorm under the purview of the Natural Calamity Fund.
The Minister said when deaths due to snake-bites during floods are declared natural calamity, in normal times death by snake-bite has not been considered a natural calamity. If all these categories come under natural calamities, the victims' families will get an assistance of Rs 50,000 instead of Rs10,000 as is being given now.
On the present preparedness of the State Government to meet eventualities of a poor monsoon, he said as the monsoon has been delayed for over two weeks now and the heat wave still continues, the State government has directed all district collectors to go ahead with labour intensive programmes.
They have also been directed to submit lists of villages and hamlets that
would continue to suffer from shortage of drinking water till July 31. The agriculture department was also directed to supply seeds to farmers at a concessional rate if the monsoon dids not break within next two weeks.
To disseminate advance information to people about tsunami, the State has already set up six control rooms at Balasore, Bhadrak, Jagatsingpur, Puri and Ganjam.