Flood Current Affairs - 2020

500-year old Temple submerged in Mahanadi found

The Archaeological Survey team has recently claimed that a 500 year old temple that submerged in the waters of Mahanadi resurfaced.

Highlights

The Mahanadi river that changed its course 150 years due to flooding had submerged the Padmabati village where the temple is located.

There are more than 22 villages in the region that are submerged in the waters of Mahanadi. However, Gopinath Deba Temple was visible as it is the tallest of all.

The temple is called “Mastaka”.

Mastaka

The Mastaka was visible 11 years back when the water levels were very low. The Mastaka was found while the Archaeological team of Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH) was documenting the monuments along the course of river Mahanadi.

The Mastaka is the upper part of the temple. Only the Mastaka of the temple was visible.

Mahanadi river

The river flows through the states of Odisha and Chhattisgarh. The famous Hirakud dam is located across the river. The Hirakud dam is the largest earthen dam in the world.

GoI releases Rs 6,195 crores of funds to 14 states

On May 11, 2020, the Government of India released Rs 6,195 crores to 14 states. This is the second equated monthly installment of Post Devolution Revenue Deficit.

Highlights

The grant allocated to the states will act as additional source of income to the states. The grant was recommended by the 15th Finance Commission. The Central Government under the grant allocated Rs 1,276 crores to Kerala, Rs 952 crores to Himachal Pradesh, Rs 638 crores to Punjab, Rs 631 crores to Assam, Rs 491 crore to Andhra Pradesh, Rs 417 crore to West Bengal and Rs 423 crore to Uttarakhand.

Significance

The grant will help the states make preventive and mitigation measures to contain COVID-19. The funds will be used for sample collection, quarantine facility, screening and setting up of additional testing laboratories. The funds will also be used for purchase of PPE (Personal Protection Equipment), thermal scanners, air purifiers, ventilators, consumables in government hospitals.

Revenue Deficit

The revenue deficit covers the gap between revenue and expenditure of a state. According to Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management Act, 2003, the states should maintain revenue deficit of zero. According to the Constitution of India, state cannot raise a loan without consent of the Centre. This is why, the Kerala Government in 2019 couldn’t claim the flood relief grants from Saudi Arabia. The centre did not permit.