Dust storm in Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan: PM Modi announces ex gratia for kin of dead; Yogi Adityanath cuts short Karnataka campaign

Prime Minister Narendra Modi today approved an ex-gratia of Rs 2 lakh each for the next of kin of those killed in a dust storm which had hit parts of Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan on Wednesday. The assistance will be provided from the Prime Ministers National Relief Fund The prime minister has also approved Rs 50,000 each for those seriously injured due to the storm, a statement from the PMO said here. More than 100 people were killed as the dust storm whipped through parts of Rajasthan, including Dholpur and Bharatpur, and Uttar Pradesh, bringing down houses, uprooting trees and electricity poles and flattening crops. Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanth rushed back from Karnataka last night, cutting short his election tour amid opposition flak for staying away from his own state even after a storm claimed 75 lives there. The chief minister will arrive in worst-hit Agra tonight and visit the affected areas tomorrow morning, states Principal Secretary Information Avanish Awasthi said. Adityanath will review the relief efforts in the district and then leave for Kanpur and other areas. He was earlier scheduled to campaign in Karnataka till Saturday noon Parts of western UP were battered in Wednesdays storm which also struck the adjoining Rajasthan districts. Over 40 people died in Agra district alone. Altogether, 124 people were killed and over 300 others injured in five states due thunderstorms and lightning in the last two days, the Union Home Ministry said. Thunderstorm, lightning killed 124 in 2 days: MHA As many as 124 people have lost their lives due to thunderstorms and lightning in five states in the last two days, the Home Ministry said today. The highest 73 people were killed in Uttar Pradesh, 35 killed in Rajasthan, eight in Telangana, six in Uttarakhand and two in Punjab. A fresh warning has been issued about a possible thunderstorm accompanied with squall which may hit four states – West Bengal, Odisha, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh – today, a home ministry spokesperson said. Relief ops in storm-hit Raj districts picked up pace: Gulab Chand Kataria Rajasthan Home Minister Gulab Chand Kataria said efforts to bring back water and electricity supply in the three dust storm-affected districts of the state have picked up pace and claimed that relief was provided in minimum time. At least 36 people lost their lives and over 100 were injured as winds over 100 kmph wreaked havoc in Alwar, Bharatpur and Dholpur districts on the night of May 2. Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje visited Bharatpur and Dholpur districts to condole the families affected by the dust storm. Asserting that the BJP government has worked to provide relief to the affected families in minimum time, Kataria said, I challenge the Congress to put forth the records if they had provided relief to affected families in such a short span of time. Work to estimate the damage caused by the storm is still on, he said told reporters in Udaipur. Official sources said the government has provided Rs 4 lakh each to the family of the deceased. According to an official release, the power department has estimated losses between Rs 40 and 50 crore.