Published On: Mon, Apr 27th, 2015

Govt appeals not to pay heed to rumours on quake

New Delhi: As the death toll in Nepal’s earthquake continues to rise, government on Monday urged people not to pay heed to rumours being spread on social media as members in Rajya Sabha asked government to prepare disaster management plan.

Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad

Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad

The House mourned the deaths and loss of property caused by the temblor, as most of the Zero Hour was taken up to allow members to speak on the tragedy in the Himalayan nation.

“Many comments come on social media that earthquake is going to happen at this hour. We should adopt restraint and not spread rumours on social media. I also appeal to people not to pay attention to such rumours being spread on social media,” Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said.

Expressing deep condolences to the people of Nepal, Chairman Hamid Ansari Ansari said India stands firmly behind friendly people of Nepal in their hour of grief.

Following this, P J Kurien said four notices for suspension of business under rule 267 have been received and allowed members to make brief submissions.

Members praised the government’s role in relief and rescue operations in quake-hit Nepal but wanted it to beef-up preparedness to deal with any such calamity.

Who said what

Ram Gopal Yadav (Samajwadi Party) said while the government has been quick in helping Nepal, the Uttar Pradesh government has deployed buses in border areas to ferry stranded people and transport food, medicines and relief supplies.

“While the government is sensitive to the tragedy, Indian Embassy in Kathmandu has not shown equal sensitivity,” he said adding the Embassy was not forthcoming in offering help to nephews of his fellow MP Naresh Agarwal who are stranded in Nepal.

Derek O’Brien (All India Trinamool Congress) said the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) was dissolved and only 3 members have been appointed so far to the 11-12 member Board. He asked the government not to keep the seats vacant.

Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad said the government needs to be vigilant as many parts of the country were on the seismic zone.

NDMA should be strengthened and every State and district level authorities should be constituted, the Congress leader said.

CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury said the government should permit MPLAD fund to be used in Nepal for quake relief.

A. Navaneethakrishnan (All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam) said the Tamil Nadu government has started a help centre at Tamil Nadu House in the national capital to help persons from the State stranded in Nepal.

K C Tyagi of the JD(U) said Bihar has been worst hit and wanted the government to declare it a national calamity and help in relief and rehabilitation there.

Complimenting the government for reaching out to quake-hit Nepal, Kanimozhi (Dravida Munnettra Kazhagam) called for more preparedness to deal with natural calamities.

She said the helpline numbers provided after the earthquake were 10 digits which are difficult to remember.

Four digit helpline number, like the one provided by the West Bengal government, are easy to remember, she said.

Sanjay Raut (Shiv Sena) said the government should give permission to MPs to use their MPLAD funds to build schools, hospital and roads in Nepal. The demand also found support in Balwinder Singh Bhunder (Shiromani Akali Dal).

PTI

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