This sort of a disaster today is the concern of all the countries, not only India. Today only, a news item has come out: "Project to study storm surge in Indian Ocean" and they are going to spend 54 million dollars for this programme where countries like India, Bangladesh, Iran, Maldives, Mauritius, Myanmar, Pakistan and Sri Lanka are all concerned because they are also victims like Bangladesh along with us is a victim. Therefore, this is a national cause. It cannot be left to a State. We must help out the State Government. More State Governments are in the red. They are borrowing money from the Reserve Bank of India whether for paying salaries or for paying their ways and means position. Every Pay Commission has been hiking the pay of Government servants. Therefore, no State Government can match the resources of the Central Government. Unless the Central Government comes in a big way, people are going to suffer. Apart from the shock they have received, another cyclone is coming. I do not know which other districts are going to be hit. At the moment nine districts are affected and the State Government does not have resources to tide over the difficulties.

DR. MANDA JAGANNATH (NAGARKURNOOL): Respected Chairman Sir, I thank you very much for giving me this opportunity to participate in the discussion on natural calamities that have affected the States of Andhra Pradesh, Orissa, West Bengal and parts of Bihar.

Though the Meteorological Department of India had predicted a normal south-west monsoon in the country, it has miserably failed and drought has hit the State of Andhra Pradesh. In Rayalaseema and Telangana particularly, the crops got damaged and there is no fodder for the cattle also. At this juncture, as soon as the State Government sensed the failure of the monsoon, our Chief Minister started taking drought combating measures by reviewing the situation and also by sending a memorandum to the Government of India. He himself visited the districts which have been affected by drought.

He deputed the parliamentary party under your leadership to meet the Prime Minister and urge him to send a Central team to assess the situation on the spot. Ever since we sensed this calamity, our Chief Minister has started taking measures and sent a request to the Central Government. But without waiting for the response, the State Government had started taking measures. A sum of Rs.30 crores has been released for augmentation of drinking water supply in rural and urban areas. Under Agriculture Contingency Fund, a sum of Rs. 5 crores had already been released for supply of seeds to small and marginal farmers at 50 per cent subsidy. A sum of Rs.2.41 crore had been released for supply of fodder seed under Contingency Plan for Fodder Development in the scanty areas. Action had also been initiated for Employment Generation Programme under JJSY, EAS, Watershed Development Programme, etc. with the available funds to prevent migration of labour. Apart from this, on the 17th of this month, as a perennial visitor coming every year, a cyclone storm hit Srikakulam district of Andhra Pradesh alongwith Orissa, West Bengal and Bihar. That cost us to the tune of Rs.200 crore wherein coconut and other plantations were damaged. Electronic fittings and telephone communication system were damaged. Apart from sending a report, we have initiated steps to combat both cyclone and drought. Our Chief Minister had alerted district collectors of Visakhapatnam, Vizianagaram and Srikakulam and also asked the officials of the districts and elected representatives to be available to the people.

Under these circumstances, I urge upon the Central Government to come in a big way as we have already taken many measures without waiting for the Central assistance. Under the circumstances which I explained, the State Government needs funds sector-wise. For agriculture, it needs Rs.212 crore, for drinking water, it needs Rs.302 crore, for employment generation, it needs Rs.110.69 crore, for health sector, it needs Rs.1.22, for special nutrition programme, it needs Rs.28 crore and for animal husbandry sector, it needs Rs.65.50 crore. In addition to this State, the devastation is much more in West Bengal, Orissa and Bihar. As our hon. friend has said, it is difficult for the State Governments to come forward and give relief to the victims as the States' finances are very limited. Hence, I request the Central Government to come in a big way formulating a National Calamity Funding Programme to help the States.

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SHRI N. JANARDHANA REDDY (NARASARAOPET): Mr. Chairman, Sir, with a heavy heart I rise to speak on the heavy ravages of floods inflicted upon the people of Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal and Orissa. When such a natural calamity occurs, we have got very little to do. We cannot prevent its occurrence. But the extent of the damage can only be minimised with experience, professionalism, enterprise and voluntary effort of the kind that the hon. Member, who spoke earlier, - I do not know his name - has mentioned. In a situation like this, we should keep our politics away and help the poor victims. Whenever a natural calamity occurs, it is the poor man who suffers and it is the man who lives in the hut who suffers much. So, we have to remember that aspect and keep our politics away from it.

Sir, whenever such a natural calamity occurs, I have always observed that things happen in a ritualistic manner. The Prime Minister or some other Ministers go in a helicopter and in an aeroplane, do the aerial survey, land at some airport, announce some Central assistance to the State concerned depending upon the nature of the calamity, come back and discuss about in Parliament under rule 193 and forget about it. It has become the order of the day. The point is not whether the Chief Minister of Orissa has undertaken proper relief measures or the Chief Minister of Bihar has undertaken proper relief measures or not, but the point is that there is a role to be played by the Government of India and one has to own the responsibility.

Sir, on the 16th October, the first warning has been received by the Government of Orissa and on the 17th October, the second warning has been received. Under such circumstances, there is a laid down plan in every State as the former Police Officer has rightly mentioned since he knows about the administration - as to which officer has to go to which place and stand by the directions of the District Collector etc. Accordingly, the State Government has evacuated 25,000 people - it is not a small number - to safer places and a lot of area was vacated. As a matter of fact, the Leader of the Opposition, Shrimati Sonia Gandhi visited the affected places, met the suffering people and moved by their condition, she has requested the Government of India to treat this as a national calamity of rare severity.

One can understand if we go to the affected people and see their problems. It appears that he has done his best. He has supplied kerosene oil, candles, polythene and rice. He has supplied `kuda'. He has done so many things. That is what a State Government can do. Voluntary efforts have to come. They have to do something. Usually, they will be doing it. This is only the rescue part and the relief part. What about the restoration part? The restoration is mainly sharing between the Central and the State Governments. The learned Minister of State in the Ministry of Agriculture, Shri Satyanarayana Rao, who is now perhaps looking after cyclones and other things, has been a Chairman of the Zila Parishad of one of the important districts. He knows the sufferings of the people in the East Godavari district whenever a cyclone comes. He has himself been a victim. Shri Satyanarayan Rao will not look into all these things from a political angle. He will rise above such a situation and help the people of Orissa, West Bengal and Andhra Pradesh.


SHRI N. JANARDHAN REDDY : Yes, Bihar also. Sorry, I have forgotten it. I have not seen you.

Now, the main thing was that Shri Singhdeo had mentioned that there was an Institute, called the National Centre for Disaster Management started by the Government of India when Shri P.V. Narasimha Rao was the Chief Minister. It is not at all in existence. They have seminars in Hyderabad and other places. I do not think that they have ever visited any cyclone-affected area and done any research study about the ravages of Bay of Bengal.

If you look into the history for the last about hundred years, that is, from 1891 to 1990, there were 383 cyclones in Bay of Bengal. Out of 383 cyclones, 220 have crossed the land and caused the damage. Out of 220, the share of Nellore district is 30. The districtwise shares of Krishna and Guntur districts are 22 and 15, respectively. I am telling it because it has got a very bad history. The ravages of the cyclone in Bay of Bengal are tremendous. The oldest and the worst cyclone recorded was in 1737 which had hit Calcutta. The death toll was 3,00,000. The next worst hit was Andhra Pradesh on 14th November, 1977. Ten thousand people died. The total loss was worth Rs. 22,000 crore. Since then, the Central and the State Governments have worked in a direction to help the situation. We have laid down a certain action plan to minimise the deaths right from 1977. The then Minister of External Affairs in the Government of the then Prime Minister, Shri Morarji Desai, and at present the Prime Minister, Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee, visited the affected areas in 1977 when the present Minister of State in the Ministry of Home Affairs, Shri C. Vidya Sagar Rao, was a volunteer in constructing a colony. From then onwards, we have been requesting to have a National Institute for Disaster Management. Nothing had happened except that an academic institution was developed by Shri P.V. Narasimha Rao. That is why this time our Congress Party has introduced an item in its Manifesto. It reads like this:

"The Congress will initiate steps to prepare a National Disaster Management Plan for the different vulnerable regions of the country. This will be a detailed operational plan of action at the national, State and local levels and will continuously be upgraded. The Congress will also enact National Disaster Management legislation laying down the powers, and functions of different agencies entrusted with disaster management responsibilities. The legislation would specify the mandatory operating procedures to be enforced during normal and disaster situations. An independent Multi-disciplinary National Disaster Management Agency armed with adequate powers and resources will be established. A National Mitigation Fund with Rs.500 crore as corpus will be set up to support all activities of national and State levels to implement long term measures which will mitigate disasters. The fund will be administered through a legal corporate body."

I only request not to go on thinking that this is a Congress Manifesto. We have introduced this and I request the hon. Minister to go through this and think about it as a national need and not as a suggestion in the Congress Manifesto. After all, Satyanarayan Rao Garu is also a Gandhian. So he can think about it and send it to the hon. Minister to consider this aspect. That is the only solution.

I do agree, in Andhra Pradesh, Srikakulam is affected by cyclone very badly. Sir, it is your district and similarly 246 mandals were affected by bad drought situation. Just because TDP Government is there, I cannot say that we should not help. We should help. The Government of India should come forward to help the needy. As is rightly earlier said, it is the poor man who suffers whenever the natural calamity occurs. There, we should not look into parties. We should not politicalise. I saw in newspapers, BJD leader and Minister, Shri Naveen Patnaik crticising at Bhubaneswar, on the inaction of the State Government.


SHRI N. JANARDHANA REDDY : Maybe certain inactions. In all disasters you cannot expect everyone to run like this. There will be some defects.

SHRI BRAJA KISHORE TRIPATHY (PURI): We have not crticised you, but we wanted to draw the attention of the Government towards the inadequacies... (Interruptions)

MR. CHAIRMAN : Please do not argue with each other.

SHRI N. JANARDHANA REDDY : What I am saying is that there may be inadequacies. I do agree, but this is not a situation to exploit political mileage out of it. It is time for all of us to join hands to help the poor ... (Interruptions) Shri Venkateswarlu was telling me that we have criticised the State Government. Why? Because a Minister there stored rice... (Interruptions)

PROF. UMMAREDDY VENKATESWARLU (TENALI): The Congress is known for its abuses of all political situations in Andhra Pradesh. There is no doubt about it. Now, the hon. elder Member is trying to accuse the hon. State Government of Andhra Pradesh... (Interruptions)

SHRI N. JANARDHANA REDDY : I am not accusing.

PROF UMMAREDDY VENKATESWARLU : It is really unfair. That situation should not be politicised...(Interruptions) It is unfair.

SHRI N. JANARDHANA REDDY : I never criticised the Andhra Pradesh Government. I even supported it. I only said, `when he mentioned that I have criticised, yes, we have criticised those days when some rice was kept in a Minister's house'... (Interruptions)

MR. CHAIRMAN: This is not the subject here.

PROF.UMMAREDDY VENKATESWARLU : It has been disproved beyond doubt. There was no such incident that had happened. It was only politically motivated statement by the Congress people, which was disproved... (Interruptions)

SHRI N. JANARDHANA REDDY : Hon. Member, Shri Venkateswarlu was in the Government of India then. Does he know the statement of the Chief Minister over that? ... (Interruptions)