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UP: Now, death by drowning eligible for ‘disaster aid’

LUCKNOW: The state government has listed death by drowning as a disaster and the victim’s family will be eligible for compensation of Rs 4 lakh under the state disaster relief fund (SDRF). Death by suicide will not be considered for compensation.
The order issued by additional chief secretary (revenue) Renuka Kumar says that in addition to nine situations considered disasters under the SDRF, death by drowning in a well, river, lake, pond, canal, pit and puddle will also be considered as a disaster from now on.
The district magistrate where the death takes place will be the authority to determine whether the death was an accident or suicide as the family of suicide victims will not be eligible for state assistance.
To ensure this, a panchnama of the victim will have to be carried out compulsorily. For the release of funds under any category of disaster, the SDM will have to verify the claim of the family. This step is being taken, said an official, to ensure that no fraudulent claims are made.
“If the death takes place due to suicide or due to a criminal act, then the family will not be eligible for compensation. This will be confirmed by the SDM,” the notice says.
In 2018, the government had added four categories of death to the list of disasters. These were snake bite, boat tragedy, death while cleaning sewer or gas leak and man-animal conflict. An official had said that snake bite had been included especially as there were several cases of it, particularly in flooded areas, during monsoon.
The categories already listed under SDRF before 2018 included death due to unseasonal rain or heavy rainfall, lightning, storm, loo and falling into a borewell.
The directions come in the light of a central government order which had asked the state to formally list state-specific disasters within the local context for inclusion in SDRF.

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