New Delhi, June 21 (ANI): Even as recent estimates claim a total of 50,000 people, stranded due to floods in Uttarakhand, were rescued in the ongoing mammoth multi-agency rescue and relief operation with thousands still trapped or missing in the hills, it is now emerging that the state has had no disaster management plan worth its name despite the region being highly disaster prone. A CAG report released as recently as on April 23 this year says that the State Disaster Management Authority, which was formed in October 2007, has never met till date. Nor has it made any “rules, regulations, policies or guidelines”, a preliminary step for the authority to have any functional meaning.
Expressing concern over the massive loss of life and property in Uttarakhand floods, Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) supremo Mayawati on Thursday demanded that the Central government declare the disaster a “national calamity.”
Considering that not only was there loss of life and property in Uttarakhand but also the fact that thousands of pilgrims from all over the country were trapped on the Badrinath-Kedarnath route, Ms. Mayawati said the need of the hour was to extend all possible help to the State for rescue and relief operations.
Instead of leaders and Ministers visiting the State, it would be better if there was genuine ground help out so that people could be rescued and their families do not suffer, she was quoted as saying in a party release issued here.
The BSP leader urged the Prime Minister and the Congress president to take the initiative to immediately declare the disaster a ‘natural calamity’ and provide all help required.
U.P. too should help
Observing that Uttarakhand was part of Uttar Pradesh earlier, the former Chief Minister said that it was the duty of the present Uttar Pradesh government also to extend all possible help to the neighbouring State.
She also instructed her party workers in Uttarakhand to help the suffering people.
On Wednesday, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav had expressed concern over the loss of life and damaged caused by floods in the Ganga basin and announced financial assistance to the tune of Rs. 25 crore for the government of Uttarakhand.