Lightning strike incidents: Rajasthan govt to provide ex-gratia compensation

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Jaipur, Jul 12 (PTI) The Rajasthan government on Monday announced financial assistance of Rs 5 lakh each to the next of kin of the dead and Rs 2 lakh to the injured in the incidents of lightning strikes in the state.

On Sunday, 23 people, including seven children, were killed and 27 others were injured in separate incidents of lightning strikes in Jaipur, Jhalawar, Kota, Sawai Madhopur, Tonk, Baran and Dholpur districts of the state.

Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot has directed authorities to provide assistance of Rs 5 lakh each to the family of the deceased and Rs 2 lakh to each injured in lightning strikes in seven districts, an official statement said.

Gehlot said in a high-level meeting here that at present the amount of assistance payable to the injured under the Disaster Management Rules is inadequate. Therefore, the difference between the present amount of Rs 2 lakh from the total amount should be paid from the Chief Minister's Relief Fund.

Earlier, the CM had tweeted that instructions have been given to give compensation of Rs 5 lakh to the family of deceased and Rs 2 lakh to the injured.

In a major tragedy in Jaipur, 12 people, mostly youngsters, were killed and 11 injured in an incident of lightning strike at the iconic watch tower near the Amber Fort, the officials said.

Some of them were taking 'selfies' on the watch tower, while the others were on the hill nearby, they said, adding that those on the tower fell on the ground when the lightning struck late on Sunday evening.

'Twenty-three people, including seven children, were killed in lightning strikes in seven districts of the state on Sunday and 27 were injured,' Anand Kumar, Principal Secretary, Disaster Management and Relief department, said. He said the state government has released Rs 1.65 crore to the district collectors concerned for ex-gratia assistance to the dependents of the deceased and the treatment of the injured.

According to the department, 16 livestock animals, including 11 goats, also died in lightning strikes and the figure is likely to rise.

Kumar said Rs 80 lakh for Jaipur, Rs 25 lakh for Kota, Rs 20 lakh for Dholpur and Rs 10 lakh each for Sawai Madhopur, Tonk, Baran and Jhalawar have been released.

Apart from the CM, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Governor Kalraj Mishra have also expressed grief over the incidents and conveyed their condolences to the families of the deceased.

Many political leaders went to the state-run Sawai Man Singh Hospital here on Monday to enquire about the health of the injured. PTI AG HDA

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