Odisha to launch awareness campaign to curb deaths from lightening

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Bhubaneswar, Aug 8 (IANS) The Odisha Government on Tuesday formed an expert committee to ascertain the reason behind deaths from lightning and undertake awareness campaigns to curb such incidentss.

The committee will comprise of officials from Odisha State Disaster Mitigation Authority (OSDMA) and Office of the Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) and other concerned departments.

While about 2,000 people lose their lives every year in India due to lightning, the number in Odisha is around 400 every year, 20 per cent of the total.

A meeting in this regard was chaired by Revenue and Disaster Management Minister Maheswar Mohanty and it discussed enhancing awareness on lightning safety in the state to save the lives of human and animals.

Massive awareness about the lightning safety tips is highly necessary to reduce this rate of casualty, said Mohanty.

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Development Commissioner R. Balakrishnan advised to make an analysis of lightning deaths occurring in the state to identify the areas and class of people highly vulnerable to thunderstorm/lightning.

It was decided to institute a study in this regard with the help of experts.

Awareness posters and other IEC materials shall be developed by OSDMA with the help of the concerned departments for targeted population concerning such departments.

Meanwhile, Special Relief Commissioner Bishnupada Sethi told the district collectors that ex-gratia for the death due to approved disasters shall be paid to the next of the kin of the deceased within three days of the death.

Earlier, the district collectors were asked to sanction the ex-gratia within seven days after observing all formalities in eligible cases.

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