Andhra Pradesh

‘Act does not recognise national calamity status’

In the wake of demands to declare Hudhud cyclone as a national calamity, Mr. Marri Shashidhar Reddy, Former Vice Chairman, National Disaster Management Authority, clarified that there is nothing termed as ‘National Calamity’ either in the Disaster Management Act 2005 or in any other disaster management related notifications.

In a statement here, Mr. Shashidhar Reddy said that after Prime Minister Narender Modi, during his visit to Visakhapatnam, did not declare Hudhud cyclone as a national calamity and only announced an interim assistance of Rs.1,000 crore, it became the subject of discussion in the media.

There were also apprehensions about the possible helplessness of the State Government in dealing with this disaster if it was not declared a national calamity, he said.

All such demands for Hudhud to be declared as a National Calamity should be put aside and also the apprehensions that in the absence of such a declaration, the State would become helpless in dealing with the challenges of reconstruction, he said.

Past calamities

Recalling several natural calamities in the past including Uttarakhand disaster in 2013, former NDMA Chief said there were also demands to declare them as national calamities. But even then only interim assistance of Rs.1,000 crore was announced.

‘No benefit’

Mr. Reddy said by declaring a natural calamity as national calamity, no additional benefit would accrue.

Disasters even of the lesser magnitude however were qualified to be referred to automatically as ‘disasters of severe nature’ including Hudhud.

Funding

He said the Centre would also come to the rescue of A.P. government with adequate funding under different programmes and schemes including external funding from World Bank and Asia Development Bank as was done last year post Phailin in Odisha and Andhra Pradesh.


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Printable version | Oct 4, 2022 8:12:48 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/act-does-not-recognise-national-calamity-status/article6503792.ece