Minister Janardan Sharma stresses disaster preparedness

Kathmandu, July 21

The Central Natural Disaster Relief Committee chaired by Minister for Home Affairs Janardan Sharma today held a meeting with stakeholder agencies to discuss disaster preparedness, rescue and recovery challenges.

On the occasion, Minister Sharma said, “We can never make progress by only presenting a conventional report and holding discussion on it. Such tendency nurtures status quo. The country is facing new challenges and hence giving continuity to an outdated disaster management plan will yield no result.”

Minister Sharma urged chief secretary, secretaries of various ministries and high-ranking security officials to be clear about their functions, duties and powers in dealing with disasters. He also directed Chief Secretary Rajendra Kishore Kshetri to issue a warning to Finance Secretary Shantaraj Subedi for not attending CNDRC meeting.

“One agency alone cannot handle the complex issue of disaster management. Therefore, representatives from all agencies should attend the meeting to ensure coordination,” he said.

Minister Sharma also directed Chief Secretary Kshetri to do needful to expand telecommunication services to all rural municipalities within three months.

“Nepal Telecom is a state-owned agency and it should expand telecommunication services to all rural municipalities within three months. We cannot proceed with rescue operation without communication facilities,” he asserted.

Sharma also stressed the need to allocate more resources to Armed Police Force Disaster Management Training Centre in Kurintar of Chitwan district. He urged Nepali Army officials to have one helicopter each on standby in western and eastern regions, and Butwal for emergency rescue operation.