Heavy snowfall is now “State Specific Natural Calamity” under SDRF in J&K

Jammu and Kashmir Lt Governor Manoj Sinha have declared ‘heavy snowfall’ as state specific natural calamity under State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF) norms. This decision has come as a major relief to the people of snowbound areas.

Why this decision was taken?

‘Heavy Snowfall’ earlier was not mentioned in the list of ‘natural calamities’ under State Disaster Response Fund norms. This was causing problems in the disbursement of relief and ex-gratia for the damages caused due to heavy snowfall. Since, it was possible for the Districts’ Disaster Management Authorities to do the same.

Significance of the Move

This decision would help in fastening the processing of ex-gratia relief under SDRF. Thus, the measure will provide a huge relief to the affected people whose life gets affected in the snowbound areas.

State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF)

The SDRF was constituted under the Disaster Management Act, 2005. This primary fund is available with the State governments in order to response to the notified disasters. The fund helps in meeting the expenditure so as to provide immediate relief.

Centre’s contribution to SDRF

Centre makes the contribution of around 75% of the SDRF allocation in case of general category States and Union Territories. While, it contributes 90% in cases if special category States and Union Territories namely, the north-eastern States, Uttarakhand, Sikkim, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir. The centre contributes to the fund in two equal instalments following the recommendation of the Finance Commission. State Government can use up to 10% of the funds that is available under the SDRF in order to provide the immediate relief to the victims of natural disasters.

Disasters covered under SDRF

The SDRF covers the disasters including the Cyclone, earthquake, drought, fire, tsunami, flood, landslide, hailstorm, cloudburst, avalanche, pest attack, cold waves and frost.

Written by IAS POINT

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