New Delhi: As the death toll in Nepal's devastating earthquake mounted, government today 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.
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 and IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said.
If the government has any information on occurence of any natural calamity, it will take adequate steps, he said.
Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said there was no need for panic on this issue in any way. “If some incident is apprehended, the government will discharge its responsibility.”
Deputy Chairman P J Kurien also expressed agreement with the ministers view, asking people not to pay attention to such comments being spread on the social media.
When the House met for the day, Chairman Hamid Ansari made a reference of more than 2,600 people being killed and hundreds more injured in a 7.9 magnitude earthquake that rocked Nepal on April 25.
The quake also caused extensive damage to houses and infrastructure and triggered avalance in the Himalayas, he said adding it also led to death of 60 persons and injuries to 250 in Bihar, West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan.
Expressing deep condolences to the people of Nepal, Ansari said India stands firmly behind friendly people of Nepal in their hour of grief.
Following this, Kurien said four notices for suspension of business under rule 267 to discuss the Nepal tragedy has been received and allowed members to make brief submissions.
Members praised Indian government's role in relief and rescue operations in quake-hit Nepal but wanted it to beef up prepardness to deal with any such calamity.
Ram Gopal Yadav (SP) 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 (TMC) 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.