Government tells not to spread quake panic online

Rajat Kain

Earthquake_newThe Union government urged the need to avoid panic and rumours being spread through social network websites. The government was particularly referring to the ‘rumours’ being spread on highly used internet forum about the ‘forecasts’ and ‘information’ about the next earthquakes or aftershocks.

Union Minister for Telecom and IT Ravishankar Prasad urged the members to take note of “unnecessary rumours being spread on social media about earthquakes. No such forecasts has been done by the government”.

Earlier the Parliament has expressed solidarity and lent an assurance to the neighbour nation Nepal after a deadly earthquake on Saturday morning. Members from both Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha assured that India stands firmly behind Nepal at this hour of need.

Sharing the grief with the victims and taking a strong cognisance of the challenges before the survivors, some Parliamentarians also suggested that each MP donate at least a month’s salary to contribute in the relief fund.

Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad said the government needs to be vigilant as many parts of the country were on the seismic zone.

“National Disaster Management Authority should be strengthened and every state and district level authorities should be constituted”, the Congress leader said.

Sitaram Yechury (CPI-M) said the government should permit MPLAD fund to be used in Nepal for quake relief.

Members across the parties echoed of long standing relations between the two nations and need to help each and every person whose life has been impacted by the natural disaster. The MPs also asked the government to make sure that all assistance reaches victims on India side as well.

65 people are declared dead in India. Of them 51 are from Bihar, 12 from UP and 2 from West Bengal. Whereas in Nepal, more than 3,200 people have been killed, thousands other injured and hundreds continue to undergo treatment for life threatening wounds.

The Union government stated before the Parliament of extending all possible help to Nepal.

“Every step will be taken to help people of Nepal. Their pain is our pain, said PM Modi”, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Venkaiah Naidu told the lower house.

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh also reiterated “Nepal is our neighboring country, we have cultural relations with them as well so making all possible efforts’’

Announcing relief for the victims, Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted “Next of kin of those who lost their lives in various parts of the country due to Earthquake will receive enhanced compensation of Rs. 4 lakh.”

As an emergency has been declared in Nepal, international relief continues to pour for the ravaged Himalayan nation. India has taken a lead in with several teams of NDRF, relief squads, special aircrafts of army and road transport deployed in the rescue and relief work. More than 50 tonnes of drinking water, food items, blankets, medicines and even portable field hospital apparatus dispatched through the armed forces.

The Chief of Indian army staff, General Dalbir Singh also told the press about army’s deployment in several rescue and relief task, “Army to do whatever is needed in Nepal.”

N Indian nationals stuck in Nepal were brought back with the help of military vehicles through the road route.

DMK Rajya Sabha MP Kanimozhi suggested the house of simplifying the central helpline for any all post-disaster management, confining the number to 4-digit. The chair also appreciated her suggestion.