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Last updated: 22 May, 2019  

Flood.Leh.9.Thmb.jpg 'India $80 bn in ten years due to natural disasters'

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SME Times News Bureau | 22 May, 2019

India suffered losses to the tune of $80 billion during 1997-2017 due to natural disasters, said Union Home Secretary Rajiv Gauba.

In his inaugural address at the annual conference of Relief Commissioners and Secretaries to review Preparedness for South West Monsoon-2019, Gauba, citing a UN Report, the Union Home Secretary said disasters had caused economic losses of US $3 trillion globally during the last two decades.

India alone suffered losses to the tune of $80 billion during 1997-2017, he added.

He said that the Centre would provide all possible assistance under the National Disaster Relief Fund (NDRF) and the State Disaster Relief Fund (SDRF) besides mobilization of Central Forces.

Gauba said the Centre had released more than Rs. 7,000 crores under SDRF and an additional Rs. 10,000 crore under NDRF last year to the States for Disaster Relief.

He called upon the States to undertake capacity building of urban local bodies, State Disaster Response Force, Fire Service and Civil Defence since they are the first responders during a calamity.

He urged the States to increase coverage of farmers under the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana crop insurance scheme to provide immediate relief to farmers in the event of natural disasters.

During the recent Cyclone Fani, Gauba said, loss of human lives was minimal due to accurate and early weather forecasting by India Meteorological Department (IMD) and timely mobilization of resources besides better coordination among Centre, State Governments and other relevant agencies.

Commending the excellent work done by various agencies in mitigating the hardships caused by Cyclone Fani, he asked the States to further improve their capabilities to be able to effectively handle the disaster situations.

The Union Home Secretary said the Government has sanctioned additional Battalions of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and new Battalions are being set up in J&K, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Delhi NCR.

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