New Delhi: India's response to disasters is not “adequate” and multiple agencies involved in this task need to step up their preparedness to a level ensuring that no person dies of human error, Union Minister Kiren Rijiju today said.
“I realise not enough has been done whether at the government level or private agency level (in disaster management). The response is not adequate that is what I feel. We really need to understand that the pace at which we are responding to a challenge, we are lacking behind in it.
“The disaster is catching fast and our response is getting late. We need to really act fast enough,” Rijiju, who is in-charge of the disaster management as the Minister of State for Home, here said.
He said the recent disasters that have occurred in the country show that there are many things “wanting” in this domain and both state governments and central agencies need to “speed up the response time” during such disasters. Rijiju said during the initial period of the recent and most-devastating floods in Jammu and Kashmir, he felt as if he was “helpless”.
The minister was speaking at a regional workshop of SAARC countries hosted by industry body FICCI. “The floods in Jammu and Kashmir...It was something I could not really accept that it could happen and initial period was something like you are helpless. You are unable to respond to the disaster.
“The chief minister of J&K said everything was standstill, the state government does not know where to react and where to respond from. That means the whole system was in a paralysis state. But fortunately, government of India responded positively on time and you all have seen our Prime Minister (Narendra Modi) has responded and taken things in his own stride and the entire agencies (under) Home Ministry were on the ground.
“We responded to the challenge effectively and brought back the life to normalcy. I am very happy that we could do that but if we could have prevented that, if we could have given a forecast...If people were taken to a safer place much earlier it would have reduced loss of life and properties. We would have been much more satisfied. There are many things wanting...,” he said.