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Nagaland govt. told to include demographics in monsoon disaster report

By Our Correspondent Updated: Sep 07, 2018 10:56 pm

Damage assessment team from the Centre says it will try to submit report within a week

Our Correspondent

Kohima, Sep. 7 (EMN): The five-member inter-ministerial central team (IMCT) which visited Nagaland to assess the extent of devastation in different districts caused by heavy rains has pointed out lacunae in the state government’s memorandum to the government of India and has asked the latter to furnish the missing details so that the central team can submit its final report.

Sharing his observation after assessing disaster-hit sites in Dimapur, Wokha, Kohima and parts of Phek district, the IMCT team leader Joint Secretary (FFR) Ministry of Home Affairs, KB Singh highlighted that details including demographics of the affected districts, number of villages and agriculture land needed to be included. He said that during its three-day visit, the team has tried to cover all the affected sectors. The team is stated to have assessed seven sectors in Dimapur district, Doyang area in Wokha where agricultural land as well as infrastructure have been damaged, and 15 sites in Kohima district, besides interacting with the district administration and villagers as well.

The official pointed out that the report presentations on the ground need to be updated as some information were found to be overlapping. He said the SOR for all the departments also has to be annexed along with the complete detail of damage: area, length (in case of roads), materials etc.

Singh advised the state to take all stakeholders into account when preparing state and district disaster management plans. While stating that the team will try to submit its report within a week’s time, he said they would need the missing details at the earliest.

Advisor to Nagaland State Disaster Management Authority (NSDMA) Pukhayi Sumi, in his address during a debriefing programme at Hotel Vivor on September 6, said Nagaland was badly affected by the ongoing monsoon as the state was receiving ‘abnormal rain’, leading to disasters in different forms. He highlighted that the main National Highway-29 which connects Dimapur-Kohima-Imphal was still cut off and alternative routes were being used where heavy vehicles were partially allowed passage. He said when the state capital is affected, 10 other districts also get affected.

The legislator expressed concern that when the roads get affected, it becomes difficult for heavy vehicles to ferry essential commodities, therefore, resulting in shortage of commodities and hike in prices.

He informed the IMCT that Nagaland had faced heavy landslides even in 2017 and for restoration works and relief under NDRF, the state submitted a memorandum requesting INR 650 cr. to the government of India. “But we have been allotted only a slashed amount of INR 65 cr. which could not to do the restoration works or to even assist the needy people,” he said. Towards this, he requested the IMCT to reconsider allocation of a “more reasonable amount to Nagaland government.”

The deputy commissioner of Kiphire delivered a presentation and informed that while the administration was trying to address issues regarding shortage of essential commodities, the district remained cut off from all sides. Stating all the roads connecting with the district were cut off except for one diversion by-pass from Meluri, he said this road too got damaged when several trucks carrying essential commodities were allowed to pass last week.

The relief funds received so far were being utilised to purchase rice from local market for the affected people, the DC informed. He lamented that even without the landslides cutting Kiphire off from the rest of the districts, it was identified in 2017 as the fifth most remotest districts in India.

Chief secretary R Binchilo Thong admitted that heavy rainfalls this year have plunged Nagaland into an ‘SOS situation’. He remarked that the magnitude and complexity of the disaster was such that, there have been floods, landslides, roads and bridges damaged in multiple locations, people rendered homeless, agricultural fields destroyed, and some districts to be cut off from the rest of the state. He expressed apprehension that there will be more rains till October.

Pointing out that the process of central intervention started after the Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju visited the state to assess the damage on the appeal of Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio, Thong acknowledged the IMCT for visiting the state to assess the extent of devastation caused, with the aim to provide central assistance.

He stated that due to unfavourable weather conditions, the team could not go to the far-flung areas, particularly those bordering Myanmar. However, with what the team had witnessed, he hoped that the IMCT would recommend to the government of India, central assistance befitting the ground situation.

PWD (Roads and Bridges) chief engineer Limatongdang Jamir also highlighted the state’s overall damages to roads and bridges under the department and the status of the restoration works.

The IMCT was comprised of Singh as team leader, Director-in-charge Department of Agriculture and Cooperation, Kolkota, Dr. K Manohoran, Consultant FCD, Department of Expenditure New Delhi, RB Kaul, Anirban Acharya from the Ministry of Road and Transport and Highway Guwahati and Chahat Singh from the Department of Rural Development, New Delhi.

By Our Correspondent Updated: Sep 07, 2018 10:56:59 pm