The Hindu Business Line
In the last 3 years, flood fury has killed 6,000
Leaves 2 lakh livestock dead, 39 lakh houses damaged; Bihar tops the casualty list, Kerala tops in perished livestock
The heavy rains and floods during the last three years and the current year have extracted a heavy price.
From 2016-17 to 2019-20 (by July 18, 2019) over 6,000 people and 2 lakh livestock were killed in floods while 39 lakh houses were damaged. Farmers faced the brunt of floods as crops standing on 87.89 lakh hectare land were destroyed.
The data presented by the Ministry of Home Affairs in the Lok Sabha on July 23, 2019 shows that Bihar tops the list of States when it comes to death of citizens due to floods. 970 people were killed in Bihar during this period followed by 756 in Kerala, 663 in West Bengal and 522 in Maharashtra.
Kerala has lost huge amount of livestock in floods. 76,891 cattle was killed in Kerala floods during three-and-half years, followed by Tamil Nadu (30,000), Gujarat (16,000) and Odisha (11,000).
Kerala has also witnessed maximum damages to houses and huts. Over 6.67 lakh houses and huts were damaged in this State while 6.19 lakh houses and huts were damaged in Odisha. West Bengal and Tamil Nadu recorded damages to 6 lakh and 5.90 lakh houses and huts respectively.
Uttar Pradesh has lost crop of over 12.67 lakh hectares in floods between 2016-17 to 2019-20 while in Bihar crop on 11.82 lakh hectare was washed away. West Bengal has lost crop over 11.71 A tractor ploughs through a flooded road in Sangli District on Monday
lakh hectares. However, the Centre claims that measures taken by the Central and State governments have significantly improved disaster management practices, preparedness, prevention and response mechanism resulting in significant reduction
in casualties during natural calamities.
The primary responsibility for disaster management rests with the States and financial assistance is provided to the affected States from the State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF) and the National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF).
“There are institutional mechanisms at the National, State and district level in the country for coordination of all the concerned agencies of Central and State government for effective management of natural disasters. The Central government has established a robust early warning system and has significantly enhanced the accuracy of weather forecasts” the Ministry told the House.
“There is no system in place at all. The government agencies or the local governing bodies have no idea about preventing disaster. The government jumps into action only after disaster takes place,” says Aruna Chavan, a professional from Kolhapur city which is facing massive floods.
There were no early warnings issued in Sangli and Kolhapur districts and people were stuck in submerged villages for a week as no government agency had reached to rescue them. 40 people have died in western Maharashtra floods in the last week while over 4 lakh have been shifted from their places.