New Delhi: National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) should not be made a parking place for retired officials and should be turned into a competent outfit to tackle natural calamities as more than 17 major disasters hit the nation 2010 onwards, a BJP member said in Rajya Sabha.

Initiating a short duration discussion on natural calamities occurring in various parts of the country, Tarun Vijay said, “NDMA is the primary agency to take care of disaster” but it were brave men from armed forces who saved people during such occasions laying down their own li es be it Kedarnath tragedy, Bhuj earthquake or Odisha cyclone.

Urging government to initiate steps to transform the organisation into an outfit to quickly respond during such events, he said, “It has become a parking place for the retired…Even the CAG has criticised it in its report last year saying NDMA’s performance has been abysmal and it could not complete any project.”

Raising concerns, Vijay said it was a serious concern as to how the body was going to tackle such situations as two lakh Indians have died in over 17 such disasters since 2010 including the latest landslide at Pune village.

He also cautioned against rampant urbanisation and unscientific exploitation of natural resources saying from Pir Panjal range to Himachal Pradesh in the Himalayan region, a significant portion of mountains were destroyed and there were 336 dams constructed in Uttarakhand.

In Chamoli region of Uttarakhand alone, four-storied hydro electricity project was made with 12 km long tunnel and 75 big dams were erected on Bhagirathi and Alakhnanda changing the course of river, he said.

Illegal mining too has caused irreparable loss to ecological balance leading such disasters, he said demanding rational use of resources as well as a well-laid out plan to tackle such natural calamities.

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