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NDMA, Met office come under fire in NA

September 04, 2012


A view of the National Assembly.—File Photo

ISLAMABAD: Members of National Assembly on Tuesday criticised the Meteorological Department and the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) for wrong flood predictions and poor arrangements for coping with the disaster.

The members referred to the previous failure of the NDMA to meet the needs of flood affected people and raised questions about funds allocated for the floods which did not occur this year.

The National Disaster Management Authority should be renamed as National Disaster Creation Authority, remarked a ruling party MNA from Sindh, Amir Ali Shah.

“NDMA should accept that it had failed to meet the affectees’ needs,” he claimed and said that, due to the wrong predictions of the Met Office, farmers in many parts of Sindh province did not cultivate their lands who should be compensated.

The movers of calling attention notice included Nawab Abdul Ghani Talpur, Syed Amir Ali Shah, Nazir Ahmed Bughio, Nawab Muhammad Yousuf Talpur and Ms Yasmeen Rehman.

The Minister for Climate Change, Rana Muhanmmad Farooq Saeed Khan assured members that steps were being taken to cope with disasters and said that the NDMA has strong coordination with provincial disaster management authorities. The situation emerged due to the wrong prediction of the Met Office and it was not the fault of Ministry of Climate Change or the NDMA, he said.

He added that the federal and the provincial governments had allocated sufficient funds to meet the calamity, with Rs five billion allocated by the federal government, and Rs three billion, Rs five billion and Rs five billion allocation respectively by the KPK, Punjab and Sindh governments.

He said that the Sindh government has allocated Rs 200 million to meet the food shortage in the drought hit areas of the province. “If, any further support shall be needed, the federal government will come to the help of the affectees.”

However, when the minister repeatedly remarked to pray to avoid the disasters, Deputy Speaker Faisal Karim Kundi remarked some actions are also needed besides prayers.

Members Yasmeen Rehman, Nawab Yousuf Talpur and Nazir Ahmed Bughio called in question the performance of the NDMA and claimed that the authority had even produced wrong figures about affectees of 2010-11 floods.

The members alleged there were ulterior motives behind the Met Office prediction and feared the funds allocated for floods may be misused. Moreover, the members asked for funds allocated for the purpose to be withdrawn from the authority if there were no floods.