NEW DELHI: The Centre has called on the states and Union Territories to step up their preparedness for the monsoon season with advance planning and deployment of human, physical and financial resources. Speaking at the annual conference of relief commissioners and secretaries, Union Home Secretary Rajiv Gauba said that the Centre had released over Rs 17,000 crore as assistance to states affected by natural calamities such as floods, cyclone and drought last year.
The Centre released more than Rs 7,000 crore under the State Disaster Relief Fund (SDRF) and an additional Rs 10,000 crore under the National Disaster Relief Fund last year to the states as disaster relief, Gauba said.
Gauba said the Central government had sanctioned additional battalions of the National Disaster Response Force which were being raised in Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Delhi-NCR.
In the meeting, preparedness for the southwest monsoon was reviewed. Gauba said the Centre would provide all possible assistance under the NDRF and the SDRF besides mobilising central forces for the states and the UTs. Gauba said that during the recent cyclone ‘Fani’, loss of human lives was minimal due to accurate and early weather forecasting by the India Meteorological Department. Gauba said disasters had caused economic losses of $3 trillion globally in the last two decades.