Odisha rain toll increases to six

The state has been battered by heavy rains since October 23 under the impact of a low-pressure area over the Bay of Bengal. PTI

The toll in the heavy rains in Odisha has mounted to six with three fresh deaths reported from the districts, officials said Saturday.

The state has been battered by heavy rains since October 23 under the impact of a low-pressure area over the Bay of Bengal.

It claimed human lives, caused extensive damage to crops and properties, threw life out of gear in many districts, caused severe waterlogging and local flooding in low-lying areas.

The three fresh deaths were reported from Ganjam, Kendrapara and Mayurbhanj districts since Friday, officials said.

A ten-month-old boy was killed and his parents injured after a mud wall of their house collapsed at Bajraguma village in Ganjam district on Friday, while an 85-year-old man died in a similar incident at Aul area of Kendrapara district, they said.

Wall collapse caused by intermittent heavy rains also claimed the life of a woman aged around 50 years in the Rasgovindpur area of Mayurbhanj district, they said.

Three others were killed on Thursday in the districts of Puri, Balasore and Keonjhar districts, the officials said.

The state special relief commissioner P K Jena has asked district collectors to immediately assess the damage to private properties such as houses and agriculture caused by the heavy rains in the state and finalise the list of beneficiaries by November 4 so that assistance as per the SDRF norms can be paid to the affected expeditiously.

He said the Odisha 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).

Teams comprising members from departments concerned would be formed for the purpose and crop loss assessment must be carried out by the joint teams consisting of revenue, agriculture and horticulture personnel, he said.

The supervising staff will conduct test checks to ensure correctness in assessment, while photographic evidence of the beneficiary concerned along with the damaged houses at the background is mandatory, Jena said.

In case of houses fully damaged or severely inundated for more than two days, the affected households may be provided with assistance for clothing and utensils in addition to the prescribed house-building expenses, the SRC said.

Expeditious steps may also be taken for sanction and payment of ex-gratia from the available funds to the next of kin of the persons who have lost their lives without waiting for allotment from the SRC, he added.

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