National

Don’t pay heed to rumours on quake, appeals Govt.

Members of Parliament in the Rajya Sabha on Monday unanimously appreciated the efforts made by the Indian authorities to help Nepal in its hour of crisis, but were quick to point that the horrific earthquake is a lesson for India to learn from. Cutting across party lines, the MPs urged the government to ensure that preparatory mechanisms are in place for quick response, in case a natural disaster of similar magnitude strikes India.

Paying respects to those who lost their lives in the quake, the Members took up the issue during Zero Hour and MPs from TMC and the Congress stressed on the need to fill vacant positions in the National Disaster Management Authority.

Ram Gopal Yadav of the Samajwadi Party while listing the efforts of the UP government to evacuate people from Nepal using buses, said the Indian Embassy in Nepal was not as “sensitive” as the government has been. He said despite several calls to the Embassy routed through External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj’s office, little was done to help trace the two nephews of his party colleague Naresh Agarwal who are in Nepal.

TMC’s Derek O'Brien referred to the vacancies in the NDMA and said only three members have been appointed so far to the Board that should have between 11 to 12 members. This demand was also raised by the Congress’ Ghulam Nabi Azad. He said the government should ensure that disaster management preparations percolate down to the district levels as well, because access to remote areas is difficult during crisis.

Sitaram Yechury of CPI(M) said the government should permit MPLAD fund to be used in Nepal for quake relief and the government should consider creating a body or a structure to ensure the relief is reaching the right places in Nepal.

BSP supremo Mayawati wanted the government to focus attention on the farmers whose crops have been destroyed by the recent unseasonal rains and hailstorm while K. C. Tyagi of JDU said Bihar has been worst hit first by the rains that left crops damaged and many dead, and now by the quake. The government should consider declaring it a national disaster, he added.

Sitaram Yechury of CPI(M) said the government should permit MPLAD fund to be used in Nepal for quake relief. Complimenting the government for reaching out to the quake hit Nepal, Kanimozhi (DMK) called for more preparedness to deal with natural calamities and said four digit helpline number, like the one provided by the West Bengal government should be provided for control rooms.

Union Minister for Telecom and IT, Ravi Shankar Prasad urged people not to pay heed to rumours via social media about impending earthquakes . If the government has any information on occurrence of any natural calamity, it will take adequate steps, he said.

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Printable version | Nov 29, 2020 7:53:52 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/dont-pay-heed-to-rumours-on-quake/article7146596.ece

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