Centre never delays help during natural calamities: Rijiju

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New Delhi, July 19 (IANS) The Central government on Tuesday said it works in close coordination with state governments to deal with any natural calamity and never delays funds meant for relief and rescue operations in affected areas.

“Our intention is genuine (to deal with calamities). We are working seriously on it. Our aim is that no life is lost in any of the calamities,” Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju told the Rajya Sabha while responding to a calling attention motion on the floods in the country.

“First, the state government concerned tells us about the situation and we work along with it to deal with the situation,” he said.

The minister said that the central government deposits some funds to deal with any disaster in advance with the state governments.

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“It’s done to ensure that the state government concerned does not have to write to the Centre for funds when it is in trouble because of some natural disaster,” Rijiju said, adding that he knew the funds deposited were not enough but the state can ask for more depending on the situation.

The minister emphasised that the Centre “was not running away” from its responsibility in the matter.

Responding to a query predicting cloudbursts, the minister said there was no such technology available anywhere in the world but the Centre monitors flood threats or any other situation arising out of any natural calamities.

Rijiju said that people should be made aware of the possible natural disasters and the Centre was already working in this direction.

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