Odisha Govt To Compensate For Heavy Rain Damage

Bhubaneswar: The Odisha government on Saturday directed the collectors to complete the assessment of damage to properties due to the heavy rainfall in the state for three days.

In a letter, Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) and principal secretary, Disaster Management, Pradip Jena said the state government has declared heavy rain as state-specific disaster within the local context. Therefore, the State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF) will meet the expenditure on relief measures and immediate repair and restoration of damaged public infrastructure within a 10% limit of the annual allocation for SDRF.

“The assessment of damage to private properties in different sectors such as houses, agriculture (crop loss of 33% and above), sand cast of agriculture land, etc. and the enumeration of beneficiaries have to be taken up on priority basis so that the assistance as per the SDRF norms can be paid to the affected person expeditiously to enable them to repair and reconstruct their houses and restore livelihood,” he added.

Urging the collectors to take immediate action in this regard, the SRC directed them to form adequate number of teams comprising members from the departments concerned.

“The crop loss assessment must be carried out by the joint teams consisting of Revenue, Agriculture and Horticulture personnel. The supervising officers shall conduct test checks to ensure correctness in the assessment. Photographic evidence of the beneficiaries concerned along with the damaged houses at the background is mandatory. In case of houses fully damaged or severely inundated for more than two days, the affected households may be provided with assistance for clothing and utensils in addition to the prescribed house building assistance. Expeditious steps may also be taken for sanction and payment of ex-gratia from the available funds to the next of kin of the persons who have lost their lives,” Jena said.

He also told the collectors to disburse assistance out of the available funds without waiting for allotment from SRC since the damage has occurred on a limited scale. However, funds will be placed after receipt of reports from the collectors, he added.

Stating that the disbursement must be done through direct benefit transfer (DBT) mode by way of transfer of the amount to the account of the beneficiaries, the SRC told the collectors to collect the bank account details of the eligible beneficiaries at the time of assessment and enumeration.

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