Orissa asks Centre to put heat wave in CRF list

Last Updated: Wednesday, April 21, 2010 - 22:35

Bhubaneswar: With an average of 72 persons
succumbing to sunstroke annually since 1999 in Orissa, the
state government had asked the Centre to include heatwave in
the list of calamity relief fund (CRF) in order to help the
victims` families.

"We have been demanding inclusion of heatwave and
lightning in CRF list. The demand was earlier made before the
13th Finance Commission. The same demand is made again to
enable poor victims families to get adequate ex-gratia," said
Revenue and Disaster Management minister S N Patro.

While a sunstroke victim`s family gets Rs 10,000 from
district Red Cross, Rs one lakh could be given to them if
heatwave was included in the CRF list, he said.

Expressing concern over the rise in the sunstroke
casualty figure, the minister said most of the victims
belonged to poor and BPL category. However, they could not get
adequate amount as ex-gratia as the heatwave did not figure in
the Calamity Relief Fund (CRF).

As many as 2042 people died of sunstroke in 1998 followed
by 81 deaths in 1999, Revenue department sources said, adding
that the number of human deaths due to heatwave per year
reaches around 72.

A total of 2787 people have died in sunstroke between
1998 and 2009. At least 53 people have succumbed to sunstroke
till April 20, 2010, they said.

The heatwave casualty figure in subsequent years were: 29
(2000), 25 (2001), 41 (2002), 68 (2003), 45 (2004), 236
(2005), 21 (2006), 47 (2007), 67 (2008) and 85 in 2009,
official sources said.

Of the state`s 30 districts, 15 districts witnessed
sunstroke deaths. "The number of sunstroke deaths has been
larger in the districts of Jajpur, Nayagarh, Khurda and
Balasore", a report on `Orissa:Natural Hazards & Disasters,
Vulnerability Analysis & Risk Assessment` said.

Though the maximum temperature in interior and western
parts of the state reach above 40 degrees mark during summer,
the hilly and tribal-dominated districts like Kandhamal,
Nuapada, Rayagada, Malkangiri and Deogarh record few heatwave
incidents.

"The heatwave situation in Orissa prevails mostly during
the period from March to June with highest number of incidents
in May followed by June and April," the report prepared by
Prof G K Panda of Utkal University said.

While concluding on the unusual hot summer in the
coastal state like Orissa, Panda said, "The westerly hot and
dry wind blow through the state pushing back onshore wind
which normally bring a cooling effect."

-PTI



First Published: Wednesday, April 21, 2010 - 22:35

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