Debating India

India to set up disaster management authority

Sunday 9 January 2005

NEW DELHI: The government will soon set up a disaster management authority and become part of an international warning system for tsunami.

This was decided at an all-party meeting convened by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to discuss relief and rehabilitation in tsunami-affected areas of the country.

Emerging out of the three-and-a-half hour meeting, senior BJP leader Sushma Swaraj told reporters that the leaders felt the setting up of a warning system would be much better than spending thousands of crore in relief and rehabilitation.

"The government accepted the suggestion that India should be part of the international warning system. It also agreed to set up a disaster management authority as recommended by the Disaster Management Committee set up by the NDA government under Sharad Pawar’s chairmanship," she said.

The government would bring a law in this regard in the next session of Parliament, Swaraj said.

The BJP leader said Railway Minister Lalu Prasad had given an assurance that necessary directions would be issued to ensure that political parties and NGOs directly get the relief material sent to them instead of being routed through district magistrates.

"Many political parties found it difficult to send relief directly to their activists for distribution due to this condition. By removing this obstacle, there will be several hands joining government efforts," she added.

Swaraj said the BJP had objected to the delayed holding of the all-party meeting.

The tsunami waves, triggered by a powerful undersea earthquake off the coast of Sumatra, wreaked havoc across South and Southeast Asia.

Over 1,65,000 people were killed in the region, with over 10,000 dead and over 5,000 missing in India alone.

See online : Times of India

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