Kerala

Heat wave, sunstroke, sunburn declared State-specific disasters

victims eligible for distress relief from the State Disaster Response Fund

The State government has declared heat wave, sunstroke and sunburn as ‘State-specific disasters’ making the victims eligible for distress relief from the State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF).

In the event of death caused by such phenomena, the family of the deceased will be eligible for an ex gratia payment of ₹4 lakh, a government order issued on Saturday said.

Forty to 60% loss of vision caused by heat wave, sunburn or sunstroke will make the victim eligible for an ex gratia payment of ₹59,100. If the damage to eyesight is above 60%, he/she will be eligible for a financial assistance of ₹2 lakh.

If the victim is hospitalised for more than a week, he/she will be eligible for ₹12,700. If the hospitalisation is less than a week, the victim will be eligible for ₹4,300 as assistance.

Lightning, coastal erosion, strong winds and soil piping are already listed as State-specific disasters in Kerala, KSDMA member secretary Sekhar Kuriakose said.

“To make the victim/kin eligible for relief, the Health Department has to certify the cause of death or injury. The State has been regularly reporting sun stroke incidents during summer since 2012. In 2016, the KSDMA had also prepared a ‘Heat Action Plan’,” Mr. Kuriakose said.

Relief aid

The Central government has permitted States to use 10% of the allocation under State Disaster Response Fund/National Disaster Response Fund for relief assistance for State-specific disasters within the local context of the State.

The government issued the order on Saturday after the State Executive Committee (SEC) of the Kerala State Disaster Management Authority (KSDMA) headed by the Chief Secretary declared heat wave, sunstroke and sunburn as State-specific disasters and approved the norms for providing relief.

Earlier, the State government had revised the norms of relief assistance from SDRF to victims of natural calamities for 2015-20 in accordance with the recommendations of 14th Finance Commission.

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Printable version | Mar 28, 2020 5:57:14 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/heat-wave-sunstroke-sunburn-declared-state-specific-disasters/article26487814.ece

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