Orissa asks Centre to put heat wave in CRF list
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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."


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

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