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Over Rs 17,000 cr given to states as disaster relief last year: Home Secy

twitter-logo PTI        Last Updated: May 21, 2019  | 18:13 IST

/R New Delhi, May 21 (PTI) The Centre released over Rs 17,000 crore as assistance to states affected by natural calamities like floods, cyclone and drought last year, Union Home Secretary Rajiv Gauba said Tuesday. He also said the central government has sanctioned additional battalions of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) which are being raised in Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Delhi-NCR. The Centre released more than Rs 7,000 crore under the State Disaster Relief Fund (SDRF) and an additional Rs 10,000 crore under the National Disaster Relief Fund (NDRF) last year to the states as disaster relief, said Gauba in his inaugural address at the annual conference of relief commissioners and secretaries here. He asked the states and the Union Territories to step up their preparedness by advance planning and deployment of human, physical and financial resources ahead of the monsoon season. In the meeting, which reviewed the preparedness for the South-West Monsoon-2019, the Union home secretary said the Centre would provide all possible assistance under the NDRF and the SDRF besides mobilisation of central forces to the states and the UTs. Gauba said during the recent cyclone 'Fani', loss of human lives was minimal due to accurate and early weather forecasting by the India Meteorological Department (IMD) and timely mobilisation of resources besides better coordination between the Centre, state governments and other relevant agencies. Citing a UN Report, the Union home secretary said disasters had caused economic losses of USD 3 trillion globally during the last two decades and India alone suffered losses to the tune of USD 80 billion during 1997-2017. Observing that India is prone to various kinds of disasters, Gauba called for building disaster resilient infrastructure as a long-term measure to minimise the economic losses. Speaking on the occasion, Director General, IMD, K J Ramesh said India has set a new benchmark in disaster risk reduction as demonstrated during cyclone Fani. The IMD is in the process of building the most advanced early warning weather system in coordination with various stakeholders, he said. PTI ACB ACB AQS AQS

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