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MR. CHAIRMAN : Shri Raghuvansh Prasad Singh, please resume your seat. Shri Jha, please address to the Chair. Do not argue with each other.

... (Interruptions)

MR. CHAIRMAN: Please resume your seat.

... (Interruptions)

MR. CHAIRMAN: Nothing will go on record.


MR. CHAIRMAN: Please resume your seat.

... (Interruptions)


*Expunged as ordered by the Chair.

**Not recorded.

MR. CHAIRMAN: Please stop this, otherwise I will ask the Minister to reply.

... (Interruptions)

SHRI ANIL BASU : It is a very sensitive issue because millions of people are affected. So, no political mileage should be secured out of this discussion. Every Member should be concerned about it.

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MR. CHAIRMAN : Please take your seat. I shall give you a chance.

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MR. CHAIRMAN: Please resume your seat.

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MR. CHAIRMAN: Okay. I shall expunge those words from the record. Shri Raghunath Jha, please conclude now.

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MR. CHAIRMAN: Shri Raghunath Jha, you confine your speech to the subject and make your suggestions.

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SHRI KHARABELA SWAIN (BALASORE) : Mr. Chairman, Sir, I do not want to go into any political deleberation on the natural calamity issue. Only for the kind information of the hon. Chief Whip of the Congress Party, Shri Priya Ranjan Dasmunsi, who is a very senior Member, let me say that the hon. Chief Minister of Orissa, Shri Giridhar Gamang was present during the time of the visit of the hon. Prime Minister of the country, Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee. He was along with him during the Press interview. May I say this much for his kind information because he mentioned that because he is a tribal he was not given the opportunity to go along with the hon. Prime Minister. This is not true. He was very much present. Everybody has seen him on television.

I just mean to say that I will not deal with the problems of cyclone in Orissa because those have already been exhaustively dealt with by hon. Member, Shri Anadi Sahu. I will only deal with, within the two minutes, the flood. There are five devastating rivers in Orissa - Mahanadi, Brahmani, Baitharini, Suvarnarekha and Budhabalang. Unfortunately, two of the rivers namely Suvarnarekha and Budhabalang, pass through my constituency. The catchment area of the Suvarnarekha river is around 18,900 square kilometers. There is a flood moderation reservoir at Chandil the construction of which has not ended since the last 20 years. God only knows when the Bihar Government will complete it. But even if it is completed, still it will not reduce the flood havoc of Suvarnarekha river. So, I also appeal to the Government of Orissa and to the Government of India that they also come forward to set it right because a spur here, a stone patching work there has been going on for the last fifty years. Now, every year the relief work is taken up as the flood havoc has become an annual feature. You consider the total amount of the relief that has been given to the people within the past fifty years. If we could have constructed the check dams, we could have constructed them with less amount of money than that we have given for flood relief. So, I appeal to the hon. Prime Minister and to the Government of India that they should come forward with a model study and with a master plan for all the rivers in India because as per that model plan every State Government should go just to take preventive measures for the flood.

With these suggestions and with this information, I thank you very much.

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THE MINISTER OF STATE IN THE MINISTRY OF AGRICULTURE (SHRI S.B.P.B.K. SATYANARAYANA RAO) : Mr. Chairman, Sir, I am thankful and grateful to all the hon. Members who have taken keen interest in this debate in the Short Duration discussion and expressed their concerns about the calamities in various States. I would also like to share their concern for the people who have been affected by these calamities in various parts of our country. Since various Members have raised very many relevant points and in my view many points have also been repeated, I would like to give a reply not individually for all the Members but I would definitely like to answer the points raised by Members in their speeches.

Before dealing with the points raised by the hon. Members I would like to inform hon. Members and this House, about the situation regarding occurrence of natural calamities in the country and the steps being taken for mitigating their adverse effect.

Our country is prone to various natural calamities like drought, floods, cyclones, earthquakes, landslides and avalanches. An area of 40 million hectares is prone to floods and the area affected annually by floods is 8 million hectares, on an average. A long coastline of 5,700 kilometres exposes the country to tropical cyclones originating in the Bay of Bengal and Arabian Sea. The country has about 50 to 60 per cent of its total area vulnerable to seismic activities of varying intensity. The earthquakes in Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh have demonstrated that the areas considered to be comparatively safe till now are really not so.

During the monsoon season of 1999, that is, June to September, 28 out of 35 meteorological sub-divisions covering 81 per cent area and 67 per cent districts of the country received normal to excess rainfall, thus making 1999 the eleventh successive normal monsoon year. A severe earthquake occurred in six hilly districts of Uttar Pradesh, Chamoli and Rudraprayag being the worst affected. Most of the States have been affected by heavy rains or floods which resulted in the loss of human lives and animals and caused damage to crops, houses and public properties. Some States had reported prevalence of drought conditions with varying magnitude. The recent cyclone over the Bay of Bengal affected the States of Andhra Pradesh, Orissa and West Bengal, and caused extensive damage to life and property in Orissa.

The basic responsibility for undertaking rescue, relief and rehabilitation measures in the event of natural calamities is that of the State Government concerned. The role of the Central Government is supportive in terms of physical and financial resources and complementary in sectors such as transport, warning and inter-State movement of foodgrains. Relief Manuals and Codes are available for undertaking emergency operations.

The National Contingency Action Plan facilitates launching of relief operations without delay. This Plan identifies the initiatives required to be taken by various Central Ministries or Departments in the wake of natural calamities, sets down the procedure and determines the focal points in the administrative machinery. Similar plans are also drawn by the State Governments. At the State level, the State Relief Commissioner directs and controls the relief operations.

The policy and arrangements for financing of relief expenditure in the States affected by natural calamities are governed by the recommendations of the Finance Commissions appointed from time to time. The present scheme in force for the period 1995-2000 is based on the recommendations of the Tenth Finance Commission. Under the scheme in force from 1st April, 1995, a Calamity Relief Fund has been constituted by contributions from the Central and State Governments in the ratio of 3:1, to undertake relief and rehabilitation measures in the wake of natural calamities. For the period 1995-96 to 1999-2000, total allocation of Rs. 6,304.27 crore, including the Central share of Rs. 4,728.19 crore and State share of Rs. 1,576.08 crore, has been made. In addition to Calamity Relief Fund, the National Fund for Calamity Relief has been created to deal with calamities of rare severity. Assistance from the National Fund for Calamity Relief is considered in accordance with a set procedure. Funds amounting to Rs. 1,264.24 crore have been released to the States from the National Fund for Calamity Relief during the last four years.

As already indicated, the recent cyclonic storm affected Andhra Pradesh, Orissa and West Bengal, Orissa being severely affected. These State Governments were informed about the impending storm and requested to take suitable preparatory measures like timely evacuation of people living in low lying and vulnerable areas to safer places and instructing the fishermen not to venture into the sea. The Government of India remained in constant touch with these State Governments at the highest level and monitored the situation.

The concerned Central Ministries and Departments have undertaken all necessary steps to provide assistance to the State Government of Orissa in relief and restoration measures and for immediate repair and restoration of damaged infrastructure. An ex-gratia of Rs. 50,000 has been provided from the Prime Minister's National Relief Fund to the next of kin of deceased.

The hon. Prime Minister made an aerial survey of the affected areas on 24th October, 1999, and reviewed the situation with the State Chief Minister. He expressed solidarity with the affected population and assured the State Government that the Central Government would do whatever is necessary and practicable to assist them in mitigating the impact of this disaster. My colleagues, Shri Juel Oram and Shri Debendra Pradhan had also made an aerial survey of the affected areas on 19th October, 1999 for an assessment of the situation.

During 1999-2000, an amount of Rs. 60 crore to Bihar, Rs. 143 crore to Andhra Pradesh, Rs. 56 crore to Orissa and Rs. 59 and odd crore to West Bengal have been allocated from the Calamity Relief Fund. Three quarterly installments of Central share amounting to Rs. 33.80 crore to Bihar, Rs. 80.77 crore to Andhra Pradesh, Rs. 31.88 crore to Orissa and Rs. 33.38 crore to West Bengal have already been released. Advance release of fourth quarterly instalment of Central share to Andhra Pradesh and Orissa is being released.

The requests from the Governments of Andhra Pradesh and Orissa for Central assistance in the wake of recent cyclone is under consideration and action will be taken immediately.

I wish to assure the hon. Members that no efforts will be spared in assisting the State Governments in tackling the situation effectively.

Sir, the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh was kind enough to mention about me. As a person, I know about floods and cyclones. When I was the President of the Panchayat Board, the Godavari River breached at 12 places in my District, and inundated one-third of the agricultural land in my District. In 1996, there was a heavy and unprecedented cyclone. I have seen so many cyclones but not of this kind. For one hour, the wind came from one direction, and for another half-an-hour, the wind came from the opposite direction. So, all the trees fell down. But the finest thing is that the then Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh sent the relief more quickly than the speed of the wind, and we have rehabilitated everyone. The State Governments must act like that, and then only the relief could be given.

Sir, for the period 1995-2000, the Finance Commission has allocated Rs. 700 crore towards the Corpus Fund for calamity relief. In view of the demand, we have already enhanced it and released Rs. 1,264 crore. This year also, in view of the demand from various States and in view of the natural calamity, my Department is taking all steps for further enhancing the Corpus Fund.

Sir, so far the Government of Bihar has not sent any report about the damage and so we could not release the funds.

SHRI ANIL BASU : Sir, there is a report that there is not a single penny available in your Ministry... (Interruptions)

MR. CHAIRMAN : Let the hon. Minister complete his submissions and then you can put questions.

... (Interruptions)

SHRI S.B.P.B.K.SATYANARAYANA RAO: Sir, as soon as we receive the report from the State of Bihar, the Ministry would release the funds ... (Interruptions)

MR. CHAIRMAN: The hon. Minister has not yet completed his reply. After he completes his reply, I will give you chance. will give you chance.

... (Interruptions)

ɽxn b : ɦ{i V, 1996 ʤɽɮ ɮEɮ E E< ʮ{] xɽ + *

... (ɴvx)

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

SHRI S.B.P.B.K.SATYANARAYANA RAO: Sir, as far as the State of Andhra Pradesh is concerned, Mr. Chairman, Sir, your constituency was the most affected. All the fruit-bearing trees there had fallen. We have sent a Director level officer to take stock of the situation there and as soon as he sends his report, we will take immediate action and money would be released... (Interruptions)

MR. CHAIRMAN: Please wait for some time, I will give you chance.

... (Interruptions)

SHRI S.B.P.B.K.SATYANARAYAN RAO: Many hon. Members have given very valued suggestions which are useful and necessary for checking the damages. We would go into the matter. We would consult with other Ministries and we would see as to how such a situation could be dealt with in future.

I would like to assure the hon. Members that all actions would be taken in this regard. I would also like to assure the hon. Members that this Government is for the poor people and we would see that every effort is made for their rehabilitation.

Regarding the crops I would like to submit that all crops come under insurance cover from the 1st of October this year in all the States. If there are any damages, then the farmers would get money from the Insurance companies. All crops of all the States are included under this scheme.