A seven-member inter-ministerial team of the central government on disaster management headed by Joint Secretary, Ministry of Home Affairs, Shri Prakash, on Monday morning called on Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu at Itanagar. The team is on a two-day visit to the state to assess the losses caused by natural disasters and submit a report along with recommendations to the centre.
Parliamentary Secretary for Disaster Management Kaling Moyong, Chief Secretary Satya Gopal and Secretary Disaster Management Bidol Tayeng were also present during the call on.
Chief Minister said the state is incurring heavy losses due to natural calamities. With limited resources of its own, the state, he said, has to depend mostly on central government aids to repair and restore the damages and losses.
“Besides heavy damages to our infrastructure, last year we lost more than 40 precious human lives due to natural calamities that cannot be accounted in terms of financial aids,” he observed.
While requesting members of the inter-ministerial team to assess the damages and its corresponding losses in the right perspective, Khandu suggested the team to visit the state immediately after the monsoons to witness the havoc created by natural calamities like landslides and floods.
“Our monsoons are long and heavy– from April till September – and cause undue sufferings to the people by washing away important infrastructure like buildings, roads and bridges. With more than half of the population living in interior and mountainous landscapes, relief and rehabilitation process are slow and tedious,” he said.
Team leader, MHA Joint Secretary, Shri Prakash admitted unique position of Arunachal Pradesh in terms of recuperating from the losses. He cited recreating damaged infrastructure as one of the biggest challenges for the state in disaster management.
“We understand that costs of construction materials get doubled or even more by the time these reach the site. We will keep this in mind in our recommendations to the Central Government,” Shri Prakash assured.
He also seconded chief minister’s suggestion and said state government may submit its report by September after the end of monsoon season – so that the Inter-Ministerial team could visit the state to assess the losses by October when the damages are still fresh.
The inter-ministerial team later had a detailed meeting with all departments of the state government.
The central team is scheduled to visit flood-ravaged districts of Lower Siang, East Siang, Lower Dibang Valley, Lohit and Namsai tomorrow. The team conducted survey of the damages caused in and around the twin capital cities of Itanagar and Naharlagun.
Members of the inter-ministerial team include Dr K Manoharan, Director, Department of Agriculture, R B Kaul, Asst Director, Ministry of Finance, Vishal Pandey, Asst Executive Engineer, MoRTH, Pawan Kumar Gupta, Asst Director, Ministry of Power, Suresh Chandra Sharma, Senior Consultant, Ministry of Drinking Water & Sanitation and B B Saikia from Ministry of Water Resources.