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HindustanTimes Wed,30 Jul 2014

No plan yet to handle earthquake disasters

Sanjib Kr Baruah, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, April 23, 2013
First Published: 21:50 IST(23/4/2013) | Last Updated: 21:51 IST(23/4/2013)

Even as a barrage of big earthquakes rocked the globe in recent days, the country's official weather forecaster India Meteorological Department (IMD) has no management and mitigation plans due to possible disaster situations caused by earthquakes, the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) has said in its latest report.

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Similarly, even after five years of its conceptualization, the National Earthquake Risk Mitigation Project under the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) is still in a preparatory phase.

After its formation in 2006, not a single major project undertaken by the Union home ministry-controlled NDMA seen completion till date due to faulty planning. Either the projects were abandoned midway or were still incomplete.

Even as many disasters took place between May 2008 and December 2012, not once did the National Executive Committee meet. The committee is mandated to prepare the National Plan for Disaster Management.

The national auditor also said that neither were NDMA's national guidelines adopted and applied by nodal agencies and state governments nor did the Prime Minister-led body take effective measures to ensure application of its guidelines.

The CAG also reported a potential loss of interest amounting to about Rs. 478 crore in five out of nine test-checked states that did not invest the unspent balances as per guidelines.

The National Disaster Response Fund was utilized for various purposes other than those stated in the GOI guidelines.

For instance, out of Rs. 9208 crore approved for release, about Rs. 3090 crore were provided to states for repair and restoration work in various sectors, accounting for 34% of the total approved amount on inadmissible items.

Till September 2011,only eight states had prepared emergency action plans for 192 large dams against the targeted 4728 large dams in 29 states.


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