Naveen moves Union Min to include heat wave, lightning under SDRF

Bhubaneswar: Worried over human casualties in the state every year due to heat stroke and lightning, Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik on Tuesday urged the Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde to include both these disasters under the Government of India's list of approved calamities for State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF).
In a letter addressed to Shinde, the chief minister said, "I would request you to kindly consider inclusion of 'Heat Wave and Lightning' in the list of approved calamities for financing the expenditure on the preparedness and response activities relating to the said disasters from the SDRF."
Sources said on an average, in the state, 78 persons were killed annually due to heat stroke while 285 lost their lives because of lightning.
In 1998 alone, around 2,042 people died due to heat wave. However, there has been a decrease in the number of human deaths in the recent past due to preventive steps taken by the state government, the letter added.
"The number of casualties due to lightning is the highest among all calamities in the state," said Patnaik, adding that heat wave as a disaster is fairly widespread and the duration covers the entire summer months.
Earlier, SDRF has not been favourably considered primarily on the ground that events like heat wave, cold wave and frost are very difficult to quantify and scale of severity will vary from region to region and lightning is a localised event which does not have widespread impact, the letter said.
Meanwhile, the Centre has already included cold wave/frost in the list of approved calamities under the fund.

The Centre has approved 12 calamities such as cyclone, drought, earthquake, fire, flood, tsunami, hailstorm, landslide, avalanche, cloud burst, pest attack and cold wave to get financing under SDRF.