Uttarakhand disaster anniversary: Call for special policy highlighted

Last Updated: Monday, June 16, 2014 - 19:43

Dehradun: A year after a devastating deluge ravaged several parts of Uttarakhand, the state government has come under criticism for not framing a policy for the state to deal with natural calamities.

While environmentalists are of the view that there should be a separate policy for the development of Himalayan states, a state minister called for tough disaster management laws.

"Despite being highly vulnerable to natural disasters, Uttarakhand has never worked on a plan to deal effectively with natural calamities and needs to immediately have an elaborate disaster management policy to increase its preparedness for future disasters," a senior minister in Harish Rawat`s cabinet said, requesting anonymity.

An unprecedented natural calamity struck Uttarakhand on this day last year killing hundreds of people and leaving thousands missing who were later presumed dead.

Though the scale of last year`s calamity was unprecedented, excess rains, cloudbursts, landslides and floods are not new to the state, occurring in varying degrees annually for the past five years, the minister said.

Considering the state`s high vulnerability to natural disasters, ruling and opposition parties, in consultation with experts, must work on having an elaborate and integrated disaster management policy, he said.

Noted environmentalists Sunder Lal Bahuguna, Anil Joshi, and Avdhash Kaushal are one in their view that there should be a separate policy for the development of Himalayan states, a matter that was in sharp focus at the time of the calamity last year.

PTI

First Published: Monday, June 16, 2014 - 19:43

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