Twenty four days after the flash floods in Uttrakhand, Indian ministry of New and Renewable Energy has sanctioned 20,000 solar lanterns to the victims.

India’s Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE), has sanctioned central financial assistance of Rs 4.4 crore for the distribution of 20,000 solar lanterns to the people in the flood hit areas of Uttarakhand.

The Ministry will bear the full cost of solar lanterns to be distributed costing Rs 2200 each. The project will be carried out by the Uttarakhand Renewable Energy Development Agency, Dehradun.

The solar lanterns would provide light in the afflicted areas which have no access to electricity due to damage of grid lines.

The ministry had earlier provided for the full cost for solar lanterns distributed for Aila affected people in West Bengal in 2009-10, flash flood affected areas in Leh during 2010-11, and to the earthquake victims in Sikkim during 2011-12.

Taking a stock of health situation in the state, Health Ministry officials in New Delhi have advised the state health department to issue advisories to NGOs to use only dry rations, as is being done by the government department. Even as there have been no reports on any outbreak of water borne or air borne or direct contact diseases, a number of cases of diarrhoea have been reported due to consumption of stale food supplied by an NGO.

The central government is also in the process of dispatching 100 metric tonnes of bleaching powder and three lakh Oral Rehydration Solution (ORS) packets to the state.

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