Bhubaneswar: After a record-breaking rainfall wreaked havoc in several parts of Odisha for almost three days causing widespread deluge and destruction of property, and some human casualties, the Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) P K Jena on Tuesday asked the Collectors of all districts to take immediate measures to make an assessment of damages in the affected areas.
Jena has directed the Collectors to furnish the report within a week (by October 22) mandatorily for distribution of compensation to the people hit by the rain fury.
Due to heavy rainfall in different parts of the State during the second week of September, 2021 and consequent localised flooding, there are reports of damage to private properties besides some human casualties, the SRC said in the directive while highlighting that assessment of damage to these properties in different sectors such as house, agriculture (crop loss of 33% & above), sand cast of agriculture land, loss of cattle, etc. and enumeration of beneficiaries have to be taken up on priority.
The faster assessment will ensure that the assistance as per norms of SDRF can be paid to the affected persons expeditiously to enable them to repair/ reconstruct their houses and restore livelihood, the SRC said in his order.
Giving more technical detail on the adverse weather developments in the last few days, the SRC explained that heavy rain would mean three days or more of uninterrupted rainfall, the total amounting to at least 3 times that of month’s average rainfall in the Block/ Area. In absence of supporting materials, rain amount from 64.5 mm to 124.4 mm per day for continuous three days or more and/or 124.5 mm and above for more than one day may be treated as heavy rainfall.
It is to be noted that the State Government has already declared “Heavy Rain” as State Specific Disaster within the local context for which expenditure on relief measures and immediate repair/ restoration of damaged public infrastructure shall be met from State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF).
As per the SRC, Odisha’s average rainfall in past 2 days has been estimated at 156mm. While 10 districts have recorded over 200mm rainfall, 6 blocks in the state saw 400-500mm rainfall during the period. So far 4 casualties have been reported in rain-related mishaps.
To streamline the damage assessment operation and hassle-free disbursement of assistance, the SRC has laid out the following points to be followed.
1. Geo-tagged and time-stamped photographs of damaged houses and crop area must be taken during assessment and preserved in the case record. In case of house damage, photo of the beneficiary concerned may be taken along with the damaged house at the background.
2. In case of houses fully damaged or severely inundated for more than two days, the affected household are to be provided with assistance for clothing and utensils in addition to the prescribed house building assistance.
3. The crop loss assessment process has to be carried out by joint teams consisting of revenue, agriculture and horticulture personnel. The supervising officers shall conduct test checks to ensure correctness in the assessment.
4. The cases of loss of lives may be expeditiously processed online through Disaster Assistance Monitoring & Payment System (DAMPS) for sanction and payment ex-gratia to the next of kins of the deceased.
5. Since the damage has occurred on a limited scale, you may take steps for disbursement of the eligible assistance out of available funds without waiting for allotment from SRC. However, funds will be placed after receipt of reports from your end.
6. All disbursement must be done through DBT i.e., by way of transfer of the amount to the account of the beneficiaries. Therefore, bank account details (preferably 1st page of the bank passbook) of the eligible beneficiaries must be collected at the time of assessment and enumeration.
7. In case of house damage, a piece of polythene should be provided to the deserving affected household in the place.