Monsoon mayhem continues across North India

The Central government contributes 75 per cent to the SDRF in general States and 90 per cent in northeast and Himalayan states…reports Asian Lite News

Amid destrcution caused due to monsoon in several parts of the country, the Ministry of Finance has released Rs 7,532 crore on Wednesday among 22 state governments for the respective State Disaster Response Funds (SDRF).

The amount has been released as per the recommendations of the Ministry of Home Affairs. In a press release, the finance ministry said the guidelines have been relaxed in the wake of heavy rains across the country, and the funds have been released as immediate assistance to States without waiting for the utilisation certificate of the amount provided to the States in the last financial year.

The Central government contributes 75 per cent to the SDRF in general States and 90 per cent in northeast and Himalayan states.

The annual Central contribution is released in two equal instalments as per the recommendation of the Finance Commission.  As per the guidelines, the funds are released on receipt of Utilisation Certificate of the amount released in the earlier instalment and receipt of a report from the State Government on the activities undertaken from SDRF.

The SDRF is to be used only for meeting the expenditure for providing immediate relief to the victims of notified calamities like cyclone, drought, earthquake, fire, flood, tsunami, hailstorm, landslide, avalanche, cloud burst, pest attack and frost and cold wave.

Allocation of SDRF funds to the States is based on multiple factors like past expenditure, area, population, and disaster risk index.  These factors reflect States’ institutional capacity, risk exposure, and hazard and vulnerability.

Based on the 15th Finance Commission recommendations, the Central government has allocated Rs 128,122.40 crore for SDRF for years 2021-22 to 2025-26.  Out of this amount, the Central government’s share is Rs 98,080.80 crore.

With the current release, the total amount of Central share of SDRF released to the State governments so far has gone up to Rs 42,366 crore.

Yamuna water level continuously rising

Delhi Minister Atishi on Wednesday said that government is prepared to deal with any unforeseen situation amid rising levels of the Yamuna River in the national capital.

Atishi said the necessary arrangements have been made for the people being shifted to relief camps. While speaking to ANI, Atishi said, “More than a thousand people have been evacuated and relief camps have been set up for them. We have made all necessary arrangements including fans, bathrooms, medical facilities and others in relief camps. The water level is continuously rising in the Yamuna River and we are prepared to deal with any unforeseen situation.”

She further stated that water from Haryana should be released towards Delhi in a controlled manner.

“Water level has not risen due to monsoon rains. The water is coming from Himachal, Haryana towards Delhi so it should be released in a controlled manner,” she said.

The water level in Yamuna, which is in spate in Delhi, reached its highest-ever level on Wednesday at 207.55 metres, breaching a 44-year record.

The water level was 207.48 metres at 12 noon on Wednesday, Delhi  Flood Control Department officials said.

In this regard, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal called an emergency meeting in the wake of the rising level of water in Yamuna.

In a bid to ensure the safety of the public, Delhi Police on Wednesday imposed Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) in flood-prone areas of the national capital as preventive measures.

The prohibitory orders have been enforced as a precautionary measure to prevent any untoward incident during the monsoon season.

“Going with the present situation, two police stations located in flood-prone areas in North East Delhi have been ordered to shift to higher floors and other police stations in the vicinity have been instructed to be on alert as Yamuna River has breached the danger level and the water level continues to rise,” an official said.

Delhi government has already evacuated people living in low-lying areas and shifted them to safer places at higher altitudes.

Police personnel and Civil Defence Volunteers are at such locations and advisories are being issued to people to keep away from the river.

Meanwhile, 2500 tents have been set up in 6 districts of the national capital to which people are being shifted. Those living in the affected areas are being shifted to these camps set up at higher places.

“If the water level of Yamuna rises, the Kejriwal government is ready to deal with every situation,” Delhi Minister Saurabh Bharadwaj said.

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) had on Tuesday issued an ‘orange’ rainfall alert for Delhi. (ANI)

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