18.00 hrs.

SHRI JAGANNATH MALLIK (JAJPUR): Mr. Speaker Sir, I have been hearing my hon. colleagues for the last four hours and I am not going to repeat all those things.

SHRI ANIL BASU (ARAMBAGH): Sir, will the Prime Minister reply today or tomorrow?

MR. SPEAKER: Today, you have to complete this subject.

SHRI JAGANNATH MALLIK : Sir, I am not going to repeat those things. Before I speak a few words on the subject that we are discussing, I extend my gratification to the hon. Prime Minister of India who has come in time, to help the people in distress and the sister Governments of different States, particularly Shri Chandrababu Naidu, the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh who came forward with a helping hand in the hour of distress.

We have discussed many things. I want to bring it to the notice of the House, through you Sir, that the unprecedented cyclone and flood which took place in Orissa on 29th and 30th of October has devastated a large part of the State covering 10 districts. The velocity of the cyclone was about 260 to 320 kilometres per hour which uprooted almost all the trees in 10 districts and devastated about 25 lakhs thatched houses. That is the magnitude of the damage caused by the cyclone which was followed by flood. The flood, which came with tides of 25 feet height, swept over the entire coastline of five districts and devastated entire standing crop over 30 lakh hectares of land. Apart from these things, it has killed about one lakh people and over a lakh of cattle. The total loss caused by this cyclone and flood is worth about Rs. 60,000 to Rs. 70,000 crore. So, this is the magnitude of the devastation.

Therefore, the Government of India - as the Prime Minister has already extended his help - should continue its help till people are given a chance to restore their positions. We have been talking about many things. But who were the persons killed? Just before they died, they were engaged in providing us with food, with clothing, and with shelters to put our heads in. They were the persons who had met the unfortunate fate. Therefore, it is the moral responsibility of the Government to explore all possibilities. ....(Interruptions) It is the responsibility of the Central Government because the State Government has already failed.

Our hon. friend, Shri Scindia was telling `let us not do politics'. I am one with him. But it remains a fact that for three days after the flood and cyclone, the State Government could not move. It is a fact that the police force of Andhra Pradesh could penetrate and go to the extreme end of affected areas before the State Police could reach there. Therefore, they had also started clearing the roads. Thereafter, the Army reached. Apart from the work done by the Army and the Police, as I know, the State Government did nothing for four days after the cyclone and flood. This is the real position.

Now, we have been talking many things about how to rehabilitate them, how to take up the restoration, next crop and all that. I have got definite suggestions to make regarding next crop. The next crop is very difficult to take up--I am sorry to say that no hon. Member could raise this point-because seed is the basic element for the next crop.

Since ten districts, which are rice-growing areas, have been totally devastated, it is not possible to arrange for seeds which are suitable to our conditions. The National Seeds Corporation is the only Agency which can supply not only paddy seeds, but also the seeds of pulses and vegetables. Whatever seeds that the National Seeds Corporation could arrange, most of them, may not be suitable to our conditions because the agro-climatic conditions differ from place to place. That is why, whatever seeds could be arranged by the national Seeds Corporation must be put to test to find out whether they will germinate or not. That is the number one thing. Along with seeds, we have also to arrange water, electricity, pesticides, fertilisers etc. There are many things. The way the Government of India have started working, I know that it will definitely take all possible measures to see that bridges, roads, school buildings, canal embankments and all those other things that have been destroyed are restored within a possible time.

But the point is, where from the money will come? The State Government is so poor that the per capita income of people is Rs. 6.40 per day. The total income of the State Government, both from direct and indirect taxes, is only about Rs. 2,500 crore, whereas the salary component of the employees is about Rs. 3,500 crore. So, you can well imagine about the financial position of the State Government. In order to mitigate the miseries of the people and to meet the situation, it is only the Central Government and the sister Governments of other States which can come to their rescue. While discussing, I can visualise a scene where a crippled daughter is crying before her mother asking for help. The Central Government is in the position of a mother, and the State of Orissa is in the position of a crippled daughter. Now, let the Government take a decision on how best they can help the State.

I appeal to the generous Prime Minister and all our esteemed friends in the House to make a consolidated effort by putting their heads together to see that the problem which we have been confronted with is eased out. SHRI ARJUN SETHI (BHADRAK): Mr. Speaker, Sir, during the discussion on the cyclone and floods of rare severity that affected almost 60 per cent of the people of the State of Orissa, all the hon. Members have depicted the picture or vividly described the damages, devastations as well as human loss caused during this period of crisis. I would like to be very precisely point out the problems being confronted by the people in my constituency. It is no doubt that the severity of the cyclone has been very much felt in Jagatsinghpur, Kendrapara, Cuttack and Bhubaneshwar, and in my part, that is, Bhadrak and Balasore Districts, the severity of the cyclone is not so much.

But the effect of flood was unprecedented in my area. This flood has caused widespread damages. This has been caused due to the mismanagement in the discharge of water from the reservoirs of the medium irrigation projects which are situated in my constituency. When there was incessant rainfall, the authorities of the medium irrigation projects could have foreseen the impact of this rainfall but at that point of time, they did not discharge the water from the reservoirs. Suddenly when the water level of the reservoirs increased alarmingly, the authorities discharged all the water and as a result of that all the low lying areas of Bhadrak district and some parts of Balasore were affected. The people of this area had never experienced flood of this type and so they were not prepared for this onslaught. As a result of this, the dwelling units, the thatched houses, the educational institutions, the canals, the L.I. points and the canals, that had been built over the years, have been destroyed. There is not a semblance of infrastructure left in my constituency and in the district of Balasore and Bhadrak.

Sir, my hon. friends here have expressed gratitude towards other sister States who have helped in the hour of crisis. The hon. Prime Minister also had visited the State and extended help for the reconstruction and rebuilding of the infrastructure. But I would like to draw the attention of the hon. Members of this House as well as of the Central Government and the friends of the Opposition to the fact that funds are available, funds would be coming and funds have already come but the question is, whether the machinery at the State level is prepared to execute the projects or not. Are they prepared to utilize those funds on time? That is the question.

Sir, the machinery of the State Government is hopelessly divided. I am sorry to say that the whole bureaucracy of the State is divided. Corruption has entered into the very polity of this system. Unless this is dealt with, unless there is a coordination between the different Departments, between the bureaucracy, whatever money is given, whatever funds are released by the Central Government, nothing can be done on time.

Sir, the very basis of our economy has been destroyed. Our economy is an agricultural economy. We depend on agriculture for our sustenance and our development. As I said earlier, our canals and the L.I. points and whole canal system have been destroyed. The total network of roads in the villages have been destroyed. One has to see the conditions of the educational institutions. One cannot believe the extent of damage that has been caused to the educational institutions. The Chairman of the Task Force, our hon. Defence Minister, had visited the spot thrice. But I do not know whether he has first-hand knowledge of damages at the grass-root or not. The State Government might have depicted a different picture but unless one sees those damages on the spot, one cannot realise the gravity of the situation.

Sir, so I would like to request the hon. Minister as well as the hon. Prime Minister, who is present here, to treat this problem on an emergent basis and very seriously and unless this is done whatever money is given to the State Government that cannot be utilised on time and rural infrastructure cannot be strengthened and rebuilt.

Sir, how can the people who do not have a house of their own manage to survive in this winter. It is a big problem. It is good that they are being provided with community kitchens. But they can live on these kitchens only for a short time. Unless they have a better alternative for their livelihood, they cannot survive in the long run. They can sustain themselves temporarily with the help of aid but they cannot live on their own for all time to come.

I, therefore, request the Government to immediately declare this natural calamity as a national calamity so that the Ministry at the Centre can monitor the whole thing, utilise the money properly, build the infrastructure there and save the lives of the affected people. Hence, raising the rabi crop is only afternative.

MR. SPEAKER: The Minister to reply now.

... (Interruptions)

MR. SPEAKER: Please understand. Reply by the Minister is more important than the discussion.

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MR. SPEAKER: Now, the hon. Minister.

... (Interruptions)

SHRI N. JANARDHANA REDDY (NARASARAOPET): Sir, I want to make one small request to the hon. Prime Minister. It is always being requested by the State which suffers the natural calamity to declare that calamity as a national calamity of rare severity. But there is no laid down action plan to follow the national calamity. If the hon. Prime Minister or the Government of India declares, at least, now, after seeing the Orissa's plight, let us have a plan of action to follow as to what type of assistance, relief and rehabilitation should be given and what would be the participation from the Government of India and the State Government.

A study should be made into this aspect. You have appointed a Task Force. Perhaps, you have entrusted this to the Task Force.

Then, there is no early cyclone warning system. Normally, it is not there. I mentioned this to the hon. Prime Minister also. There is a National Institute of Disaster Management but it is not working as a machinery. It is only a kind of an academic institute, which is conducting seminars etc. An early warning system should be set up. The Ministry of Agriculture is the authority to do it but it is not coordinating this for the last four years. If it had been there, a warning could have been given at least one week earlier. This is about rescue, relief, rehabilitation and disaster management. When you declare it as a national calamity ... (Interruptions)

SHRI ATAL BIHARI VAJPAYEE: I have declared it. What more declaration do you want?

SHRI N. JANARDHANA REDDY (NARASARAOPET): You have declared it as a national calamity of rare severity but nobody knows what action is being taken. Shri George Fernandes is involved. He is there as the hon. Minister of Defence and the Chairman of the Task Force. But there is no permanent system. The hon. Prime Minister has to establish a permanent system.