August 7, 2014
Vivek Gupta highlights the advancements made by Bengal in disaster management in RS
Trinamool Rajya Sabha MP Vivek Gupta today spokeat length about the natural calamities occurring across the country. During hisspeech he highlighted the advancements made by Bengal in disaster management.
“A disaster SMS alert system is to sendwarning signal to all officials up to the gram panchayats. There is Disaster Management team in all ourpolice forces; all district head quarters have a quick response team under theDM. There is a close cooperation between disaster management, fire and civildefence. There is a Core Committee under the Chief Secretary which meets onceduring the month to review normal situations and preparedness,” he said.
He also sought Central assistance fordisaster management. He said that the National Disaster Force must come to therescue.
Fulltranscript of his speech:
Sir, In India 40 million hectares or 12% ofour geographical areas is exposed to recurring floods. But there is something Iwould like to draw the attention of this House to, that is the changing courseof the river. Technically it is not classified as a flood and there are norehabilitation measures. All people who are affected by it are not getting anyrelief.
Sir, when we talk about natural calamitiesand preparedness, only 192 dams against 4728 dams have some kind of emergency actionplans in place. The Central Water Commission provides in-flow focus for only 28of them.
Sir, I do not know how much time it willtake before we have the standard operating procedures for the deployment of theNDRF. My other colleagues before me have been saying that the NDMA had not beenholding meetings regularly. Even when my colleague spoke on the Uttarakhanddisaster, it was pointed out, we know we have not learnt from our mistakes.
Sir, we would like to mention here thesituation in Bengal also. Almost 40% of our area is flood-prone. 111 blocksamounting to 37,660 sq km are prone to recurring floods. The steps that we havetaken, we want to share with our esteemed colleagues because we think it willhelp them. Sir, we have now24X7 emergency operational centre in the StateSecretariat, working round the clock. A disaster SMS alert system is to sendwarning signal to all officials up to the gram panchayats. There is Disaster Management team in all ourpolice forces; all district head quarters have a quick response team under theDM. There is a close cooperation between disaster management, fire and civildefence. There is a Core Committee under the Chief Secretary which meets onceduring the month to review normal situations and preparedness.
My suggestions are that the NationalDisaster Response Fund and the National Disaster Mitigation Fund must becreated at the earliest. The source of each fund and its linkage with therespective State Funds must be specified with the act of the rules. The AdvisoryCommittee which had ceased to exist in 2010 has not been reconstituted. It isrecommended that this committee should be reconstituted at the earliest as itforms a significant organ of NDMA giving it expert advice.
The National Institute of Disaster Managementshould function as an autonomous body in respect to its activities and humanresource practice and not as a subordinate organization. Disaster Managementset up of the district authorities can be strengthened so that districtauthorities so that the district authorities can be the first effectiverespondents in case of a disaster.
Sir, we have suffered from Aila, we havesuffered from so many things. We are doing but our efforts need CentralAssistance. Even last week 60 trawlers have gone missing to certain cyclonicstorm in Bay of Bengal. Hundreds of fishermen are still reported to be missing.Sir, we want that the National Disaster Force comes to the rescue and financialassistance extended to the kin of these people.