Calamities claimed 4,200 lives, damaged Rs 44,000 cr property

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New Delhi, Mar 4: A total of 51.86 million people were affected due to floods and soil erosion by rivers over the last three years with the calamities claiming 4226 lives and causing damage to properties worth Rs 44,112.68 crore during the period, Lok Sabha was informed.

During the years 2013-2015, around 1.98 lakh cattle were lost due to floods, Union Water Resources Minister Uma Bharti said while replying to a question pertaining to damage suffered due to floods and soil/bank erosion by rivers in the country in the aforementioned period.

In her written reply, Bharti said 13.884 million hectares of area was affected due to floods and erosion.

She said out of the total damage caused to crops, houses and public utilities, more than half of it, Rs 27801.31 crore, was reported last year alone.

To another question on assistance the Centre provided to affected regions, the Minister said that a total of 517 works were approved during the period at an estimated cost of Rs 12360.24 crore. Of these, 293 were completed.

The government released funds worth Rs 4610.09 crore under 11th and 12th plan for the works over the three years, she added.

“As regards soil/bank erosion and controlling recurring floods, the related schemes are formulated and implemented by state governments as per their priorities, since the subject of flood management falls within the purview of states.

“However, Government of India supplements their efforts by rendering technical advice and promotional financial assistance to enable state governments to undertake flood management and anti-erosion works in critical areas,” she said.

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The Ministry has initiated a study of siltation and erosion in major rivers in order to enable states to undertake a combination of structural measures like embankments and channel improvement through dredging and non-structural measures viz flood forecasting and flood plain zoning for effective mitigation of damages.

“The Government of India has already provided additional financial resources to the states through devolution of central taxes for undertaking required flood control measures,” she added.

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