J&K inadequately prepared for floods: Kiren Rijiju

New Delhi: The recent floods have shown that preparation level in Jammu and Kashmir and Meghalaya to deal with such calamities was not up to the mark, Union minister Kiren Rijiju said on Monday and favoured urgent measure to ramp up disaster management capabilities in the country.
“We have seen helplessness in the administration of Jammu and Kashmir. Preparation level was not up to the mark. I am not trying to blame the state government. But this is the position as Jammu and Kashmir has not faced floods for many decades.
“This is the case of Meghalaya too. Meghalaya was not prepared for floods. Response of the state government was not adequate as Meghalaya has not faced floods for many years,” he said addressing a function organised on the occasion of the foundation day of the National Disaster Management Authority.
The Minister of State for Home said Assam has been facing floods every year and the response of the state government in rescue operations and providing relief was quick.
“But we (central and state governments) have to work together. We are doing a lot but more needs to be done for disaster preparation,” he said.
The Jammu and Kashmir Government has been maintaining that its ambitious plan of Rs 2,200 crore for flood management of Jhelum river has been lying with the Centre for long.
The Union Minister said the National Disaster Response Force and central armed police forces were always committed to offer assistance to the natural calamity affected people.
“Our response has to be quick,” he said adding India has been facing natural disasters due to the vastness of the country.
Rijiju said international agencies feel that India has to take the lead role in disaster management and they have been appreciating the work being carried out by various Indian agencies in the field.
“But India will have to play a much bigger role in disaster management, at least in South Asia. India will have to enhance the disaster management capability and use them effectively,” he said.


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