THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The state government has issued a circular declaring heat wave, sunstroke and sunburn as ‘state-specific disasters’. The circular was issued on Saturday following the repeated instances of sunburn and sunstroke reported at various parts of the state. The government has decided to allocate 10 per cent of its disaster response fund as relief assistance to the affected people. It said such local disasters and relief norms have to be declared and approved by the State Executive Committee (SEC) of the State Disaster Management Authority (SDMA) led by the Chief Secretary.
The circular said an amount of Rs 4 lakh will be given to the families of those who die from a sunstroke. For victims who lose their eyesight, the state will provide Rs 59,100 for treatment, if the damage to the eye is between 40 per cent and 60 per cent. If the damage is above 60 per cent, Rs 2 lakh will be given to the victim and their family.
Any form of grievous injury from sunstroke or heat burn that requires hospitalisation will also get relief aid. If the victim spends over a week in the hospital, he/she will get Rs 12,700. If the hospitalisation period is less than one week, Rs 4,300 will be granted. According to Shekhar Kuriakose, member secretary, Kerala Disaster Management Authority, the state executive committee has taken a decision and issued an order.
The health department has to certify the cause of death or injury to confirm that the death was caused due to heat wave, sunburn or sunstroke. Then only they should be eligible for compensation. Funds are also allowed for the hiring of boats to carry out immediate relief and saving lives.
The SDRF funds can be used to provide for temporary accommodation for food, clothing, health care etc, for those who suffered from sun strokes and/or heat waves and have been put up in relief camps.If domestic animals such as cow or buffalo die due to heat, the owner will get Rs 30,000 while in case of a death of sheep, goat or pig, the owners will get Rs 3,000.
In case draught animals such as bullocks, horses or camels die, the owners are eligible for Rs 25,000. For the death of poultry, owners are eligible for Rs 25,000 and in case of death of calves, donkeys, pony, mule etc, the owner will get Rs 16,000 as relief assistance fund. In rural and urban areas, funds can be used to provide emergency drinking water., as well as for disposal of dead bodies or carcasses.
The circular said an amount of Rs 4 lakh will be given to the families of those who die from a sunstroke, heat wave or sunburn.