More than 4000 lives lost due to floods in 3 years, government informs Parliament

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Vishwa Mohan

NEW DELHI: The government on Thursday informed the Lok Sabha that a total of 4,226 people lost their lives and property worth over Rs 44,112 crore was damaged due to floods and soil erosion by rivers over the last three years during 2013-15 in India. Overall, it affected 51.86 million people in one or the other way during the same period across the country.

The floods had also taken lives of 1.98 lakh cattle and affected around 13.88 million hectares of land during the period.

Sharing these statistics, water resources minister Uma Bharti in written response to a question in Parliament noted that the maximum damage worth over Rs 27,801 crore was reported in 2015 with West Bengal alone suffereing the loss of properties, including crops, houses and public utilities, worth over Rs 25,353 crore due to floods last year.

In response to a question on assistance the Centre provided to affected states, Bharti said that a total of 517 works were approved during the period at an estimated cost of Rs 12360.24 crore. Of these, 293 works were completed. The government released funds worth Rs 4610.09 crore for the works over the three years, she added.

"As regards soil/bank erosion and controlling recurring floods, the related schemes are formulated and implemented by state governments as per their priorities, since the subject of flood management falls within the purview of states. However, the government of India supplements their efforts by rendering technical advice and promotional financial assistance to enable state governments to undertake flood management and anti-erosion works in critical areas," said Bharti.

She informed that her ministry has also initiated a study of siltation and erosion in major rivers in order to enable states to undertake a combination of structural measures like embankments and channel improvement through dredging and non-structural measures viz flood forecasting and flood plain zoning for effective mitigation of damages.