New Delhi: The Central government has approved the release of over Rs 4,432 crore to Odisha, Karnataka and Himachal Pradesh for the damage caused by natural calamities in these states during the last financial year.

In a statement, the home ministry said a high-level committee, headed by Union home minister Amit Shah, has approved additional Central assistance of Rs 3338.22 crore to Odisha for the damage caused by the cyclone Fani, Rs 1029.39 crore to Karnataka for drought and Rs 64.49 crore to Himachal Pradesh for avalanches and hailstorm during 2018-19.

The funds will be disbursed from the National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF). This additional assistance is over and above the funds released by Centre in the State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF) already placed at the disposal of states.

During 2018-19, the Central government had released Rs 9,658 crore to all states and during 2019-20, till date, it has released Rs 6,104 crore to 24 states from the SDRF, the statement said.

In view of cyclone Fani, Rs 340.87 crore was released to Odisha in advance on April 29 from the SDRF. Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited the state on May 6, and as announced by him, immediate assistance of Rs 1,000 crore was released in advance.

Additionally, an ex gratia of Rs 2 was provided to next of the kin of the deceased and Rs 50,000 to those seriously injured in the cyclone from PM's Relief Fund.

During cyclone Fani, the Centre had deployed 71 teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), 19 columns of Army, nine Engineering Task Force (ETF), 27 aircraft/helicopters and 16 ships of Armed Forces for relief and rescue operations, the statement said.

It said that more than 15.5 lakhs people were taken to safety and the centre had provided all necessary assistance in the restoration of power supply and communication in affected districts, including that of providing necessary stores, generator sets, steel poles and skilled manpower.

As other states were also likely to be affected, an amount of Rs 688 crore was released in advance from SDRF to Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, and West Bengal.

The high-level panel also reviewed the existing practice of deputing an Inter-Ministerial Central Team (IMCT) after the receipt of a memorandum from the state in the wake of any severe calamity.

In a significant decision taken by Shah, the IMCT will henceforth be constituted immediately in the aftermath of any natural calamity of severe nature, which will visit the affected areas in the state so as to have first-hand assessment of damages caused and relief work carried out by the state administration.

The IMCT will again visit the state after submission of the memorandum for a detailed assessment of the damage and relief operations conducted for making final recommendations for allocation of additional funds.

At present, the IMCT visits the affected state only once after the receipt of a memorandum from the state.

In line with this decision, ministry of home affairs will immediately constitute and depute the IMCTs to Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura, Bihar, Uttrakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Karnataka, and Kerala affected by recent floods.

The meeting also reviewed the ongoing flood situation in different parts of the country and the logistic support provided by central agencies including the deployment of NDRF and defence forces.

In the combined rescue operations in the states affected by floods, landslides etc. during the current monsoon season, the NDRF, Army, Air Force, Navy and Coast Guard have rescued and shifted to safer places more than 1,53,000 people.

The flood situation in the country is being continuously monitored by the home minister.

Shah directed senior officers to continue to take every possible measure to deal with the situation arising out of south-west monsoon in the states concerned and to extend all necessary assistance to the flood-affected states.

The meeting was attended by Union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman, agriculture minister Narendra Singh Tomar and senior officers of the ministries of home, finance, agriculture and NITI Aayog.