February 01

Gujarat Earthquake



   The Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), Ministry of Science and Technology has mounted certain specific relief operations in the quake-hit Gujarat. The Minister for Human Resource Development and Science and Technology Dr. Murli Manohar Joshi said here today that the primary thrust is on strengthening the hands of the Government of Gujarat by providing scientific and technological inputs. The CSIR scientists from Structural Engineering Research Centres (SERC) and Central Building Research Institute (CBRI) are currently involved in integrity monitoring of buildings and providing guidance on retrofitting and remediation.

    A team of high-way engineers from the Central Road Research Institute (CRRI) is also on its way to the State to facilitate rehabilitation of roads and bridges. The damage to these infrastructures is so severe that traffic movements at several locations have been disrupted.

    The CSIR is also forming a group to look into the revision of building codes and bye-laws so that new buildings can be made earthquake-safe. The Council is closely working with the Ministry of Agriculture, the nodal agency on Natural Disaster in structuring a permanent National Centre for Calamity Management.

    The CSIR says the rehabilitation programme among other things would require huge quantities of building material. One of the ways to somewhat meet the demand is to make effective use of the vast amount of the waste rubble and debris piled up everywhere and convert this waste into useful building material and components. Such a strategy was adopted by the CSIR some years ago at Kaliasur (Garhwal) following a major landslide.

    The huge quantities of debris, the disposal of which otherwise could create an environmental problem, can best be used for construction of roads and road embankments. The CSIR said, the debris could be converted into blocks for building construction in collaboration with the CBRI. The CSIR has the capacity to design and develop appropriate equipment to advise the State Government on these matters. Such an initiative could also lead to providing gainful employment to the earthquake displaced people.

    The Gujarat Government has appreciated the team from CBRI for giving outstanding help to the local administration in assessing the damage and mounting the salvage operations.




Gujarat Earthquake



    In view of the unprecedented devastating earthquake of severe intensity, that rocked the State of Gujarat on January 26, 2001, causing heavy loss of life and property, the government has decided to wave the ceiling of Rs.10 lakh for taking up works under the scheme in the earth quake affected areas of Gujarat. Accordingly Members of Parliament can now assign the entire sum of Rs. 2 crore accruing to them in a year for reconstruction and rehabilitation work in the quake affected areas of Gujarat.

    The Ministry of Statistics & Programme Implementation has issued instructions to all District Collectors for transferring the funds assigned by the Members of Parliament to Chief Secretary, Government of Gujarat.

    Under the Member of Parliament Local Area Development Scheme (MPLADS), MPs can recommend works outside their Constituencies/States for construction of assets that are permissible in the Guidelines for rehabilitation measures in the vent of natural calamity of rare severity in any part of the country, for an amount not exceeding Rs.10 lakhs for each calamity.


Gujarat Earthquake




    Shri Santosh Kumar Gangwar, Minister of State for Petroleum & Natural Gas and Parliamentary Affairs, has contributed one month's salary towards the Prime Minister's Relief Fund for relief work in Gujarat. The Minister has also decided to allocate an amount of Rs. 10 lakh from his MPLAD Scheme fund for the year 2000-2001 to help the relief operations in the State. The Minister has requested the concerned authorities to facilitate early transfer of funds for relief measures.

    In view of the magnitude of the damages caused by the earthquake, Shri Gangwar has called upon the citizens of the country to make contributions to the maximum possible extent to this noble cause. In a special appeal made to the people of his constituency i.e. Bareilly he requested them to make contributions both in cash and kind including physical assistance. Shri Gangwar has also embarked upon mobilising volunteers to carry out relief and rehabilitation work, particularly in the inaccessible parts affected by the earthquake.


Gujarat Earthquake



    The Power Finance Corporation (PFC) has sanctioned a loan of Rs. 100 crore on priority basis for taking up restoration work in the quake affected areas of Gujarat. The PFC had earlier despatched a team of senior officials to assess the extent of damage to electrical lines, sub-stations and civil structures of the Gujarat Electricity Board (GEB) following the earthquake. The team had been despatched on the instructions of the Minister for Power, Shri Suresh Prabhu. PFC has also offered an additional Rs. 50 crore as working capital loan to GEB.

    In addition, the PFC has decided to contribute a day’s wages of its employees for the welfare of the victims of the earthquake. PFC employees are also collecting donations and materials such as tents, medicines, grains, foodstuffs and woolens to be sent to Gujarat.


Gujarat Earthquake





    In response to an appeal to the Textile Industry by the Minister of Textiles, Shri Kashiram Rana an approximate contribution of Rs 23 crore is likely to be generated for the Gujarat Earthquake relief efforts. Returning from Gujarat here last night Shri Kashiram Rana convened a meeting of important textile Industry representative bodies here today and made an appeal to the exporters and other textile PSU's, Garment Exporters and various council members to whole heatedly support the Govt. efforts in the relief operations in Gujarat. Shri Anil Kumar, Secretary (Textiles), Shri Arun Gupta, Additional, Secretary and DC (Handlooms), Shri Rajiv Takru (DG) AEPC and top officials of Ministry of Textiles were also present at the meeting.

    Responding to the appeal, Shri Rajiv Takru, DG, Apparel Exports Promotion Council (AEPC) who had already announced a contribution of Rs 21 lakh and dispatched 8500 blankets for Ahmedabad informed that 10,500 blankets are also being sent to Rajkot. He also assured the Garment Industry's support for a further contribution of Rs. 5 crores either in cash or kind for the earthquake relief.

    While a contribution of Rs. 2.11 crore is expected from TEXPROCIL and its members, SRTEPC is also expected to provide Rs. 2 crores. Various silk and woolen council members are likely to contribute about Rs. 1 crore. National Textile Corporation (NTC) has already sent dhotis and sheets etc. to Ahmedabad and 1800 blankets are further being sent. It has also volunteered a support of Rs. 50 lakhs.

    The Ministry of Textiles has also decided to immediately disperse the arrears of salaries due to NTC employees residing in Gujarat. It has also been decided to contribute one day's salary by the employees of Ministry of Textiles, Export Promotion Councils, PSUs and other allied bodies associated with the Ministry of Textiles. This is expected to generate about Rs. 1.5 crore.

    The Jute Industry has come forward with a consolidated offer of Rs. One crore. This includes the dispatch of one Lakh meter of jute, which has already been sent to Ahmedabad. Further, 2 lakh tones of jute will be dispatched shortly. The jute mill owners have also assured further contribution of Rs.7.5 lakhs.

    The existing schemes for the benefit of Handlooms and Handicrafts workers would be synergised for maximization of benefits in the Earthquake affected areas. About 2500 Work-shed cum Housing units in 25 worst affected villages are proposed to be constructed for the benefit of workers to sustain their livelihood with the support of DC (Handicrafts). Besides imparting training for starting the unit during the initial period, the tool kits will also be provided so that economic activities could be started and sustained. About 5000 work- sheds are also proposed to be made available for Handicraft workers in the worst affected areas of Surender Nagar and Kutch. DC (Handicrafts) and DC (Handlooms) would jointly help in the reconstruction efforts. The Office of the Development commissioner for Handicrafts is also working on a Work-shed cum Housing scheme for Ten talukas in Bhuj District having maximum concentration of Handicrafts workers. Out of this 4000 units are proposed to be constructed in rural areas while 1000 units in urban areas. An amount of Rs 5 Crore is proposed to be spent on this scheme. The Export Promotion Council for Handicrafts has also given an assistance of Rs 10 Lakhs. Moreover the Office of the Development Commissioner for Handicrafts has contributed Rs. 50 lakhs as share capital assistance to Gujarat State Handicraft Development Board to assist the artisans.


Gujarat Earthquake



    Government has launched multi-pronged relief operation with the support of Armed Forces, voluntary agencies and international agencies. Power supply has been restored to the towns of Bhuj, Nakhatrana, Anjar, Adipur, Gandhidham, Mandavi and Mundra. Power has been restored in 198 out of 949 villages of Kutch district. Water is being provided through water tankers. Massive stock of foodgrains, vegetables, milk powder, diesel, petrol, LPG cylinders and kerosene have been stacked. Reliance refinery has started operating at about 50 percent of the capacity.

    Telecommunication services at Bhuj, Anjar and Gandhidham are now available. Mobile communication has also been partially restored. Hotlines are being provided at the Taluka headquarters. Road communication is restored except for Surajbari bridge. On the NHs more than 1000 units of heavy equipment moved across the roads. Damages to minor/major bridges have been attended to and wherever required, diversions have been provided. Surajbari bridge is being used for LCVs and other light vehicles carrying relief material. The heavy vehicles at controlled speed are expected to move from February 2 onwards. Railways has restored broad-gauge section upto Gandhidham. Gandhidham to Bhuj line is now fit upto Kukma. Indian Airlines/Air India is air-lifting relief material at free of cost. 652 doctors, 785 para-medical staff, voluntary and international medical teams are providing medical service. Drugs worth Rs. 43 lakh have been supplied to 15 hospitals.

    Army, Navy, Air Force and Para-military forces are continuing relief operations round the clock. Total manpower of Defence Forces deployed is approximately 20,000. Army has deployed 54 columns, 7 Engineers Regiments and 7 mobile field hospitals at Bhuj and Ahmedabad besides existing military hospitals. Army doctors have conducted about 10384 major surgeries, 7326 minor surgery operations, 1770 plasters and medical aid to about 13152 individuals besides evacuating 422 serious patients and rescuing 253 persons.

    Air Force have evacuated 700 casualties and have air-lifted 3000 tonnes of relief supplies including heavy engineering equipment, field ambulances, tentage and blankets etc. from Delhi, Chennai and Kanpur. Navy has converted 2 Naval Surgery ships into hospital ships and has established a crisis extension ward at Naval Hospital. INS Ganga sailed for Kandla with relief material and dry provisions. Dry rations from naval establishments, Jamnagar, Porbandar and Dwarka have been moved by road for districts at Anjar and Gandhidham. BSF, CISF, CRPF, SSB and Indo-Tibetan Boarder Police personnel are also engaged in Ahmedabad, Gandhidham, Bhuj, Rapar, Khalil, Bimasar, Morvi, Kandla and Mehsana in providing relief material.

    Human Resource Development Ministry will provide Rs. 150 crore for Gujarat Education Reconstruction Plan. Out of this Rs. 100 crore for Elementary and Secondary Education and Rs. 50 crore for College and University Education will be earmarked. The Ministry has also decided to establish 200 creches, 50 short stay homes for women and 10 women’s hostel for shelterless women. Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment is activating Lead NGOs located in Gujarat to provide relief and succour to women and children rendered destitute and homeless.

    State Governments are providing relief assistance to Gujarat both in cash and kind. This includes food, blankets, medicine, medical personnel, water tankers and equipments.

    The number of dead has increased to 7341 and injured to 33114.

    Latest information through Control Room of Agriculture Ministry is available on internet at website – www.ndmindia.nic.in.


Gujarat Earthquake



    The Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment has offered to provide assistance for rebuilding or repairing the buildings of institutions for the disabled, old-age homes, orphanages, hostels for the students belonging to Scheduled Castes, OBCs etc in any areas which falls under the normal schemes of this Ministry, and, which have suffered damages in the recent earthquake in Gujarat.

    The Artificial Limbs Manufacturing Corporation of India (ALIMCO) under the Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment has already sent seven Trucks of aids & appliances, assistive devices and accessories for the needy persons who might have been injured or disabled due to the earthquake. These appliances are being carried by a team of experts who will fan out in different affected areas identified by the NGOs and district administration to help the needy persons.

    The National Institute for the Orthopaedically Handicapped, Calcutta has dispatched several cartons of medicines, which would be distributed, with the help of district administration.

    The Ministry today called a meeting of the Non-Governmental Organisations(NGOs) which was attended by the Indian Council of Child Welfare, Helpage India, Child Relief & You (CRY) Action - Aid India and CERC amongst others.

    With the support of the Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment the Action - Aid would set up 100 temporary centres for the destitute women, children, disabled and other needy persons. These centres will provide psycho- social trauma counseling, medical care, food and shelter.

    Aadhar which has been commissioned by the Ministry to work as a Secretariat for the National Council of Older persons, has activated its 45 members in the earthquake affected areas who have set up a Help-line for linking those in need of assistance and those who can provide it.

    At today’s meeting, NGOs were asked to co-ordinate amongst themselves and with district administration for well-focussed relief efforts and they were also advised to adopt an integrated approach instead of sticking to their areas of specialisation. For example the programme officers of Indian Council of Child Welfare have identified the areas of work not only for children but also for the other affected persons. Similarly Helpage India would assist all the affected persons including the elderly.

    The Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment assured the NGOs that they would be provided all necessary financial support for proposals they have submitted to provide relief to the earthquake victims.


Gujarat Earthquake





    The Department of Telecommunications has opened helplines at Bhuj, Gandhidham and Kandla only with in-coming facility. The people from outside can ring up these numbers and give messages to their friends and relatives. The telephone numbers of these helplines are :-

Bhuj 02832-31240
Gandhidham 02836-20800,

31241 20900

Kandla 02838-71142,


    More helplines will be opened at other places according to the requirements. An easy 4-digit code 1092 will also be made available on these lines shortly so that the person from outside will only be required to dial the STD code followed by 1092.

    The restoration and rectification efforts are being carried out on a war footing and a large number of places are expected to be brought into the communication network soon. The position of telecom network system in Kutch District has further improved with the restoration of 52 telephone exchanges by installing either new C-DOT exchanges and reviving some of the existing ones. The old numbers in general will not function in these exchanges now, however, telephone lines with only in-coming facility in the premises of telephone exchanges have been opened to help relief operations. A number of PCO facilities have also been opened from these exchanges for the use of the public. Further the two private cellular operators, namely, Birla AT&T and Fascel have fully restored the cellular network at Gandhidham and Bhuj. The number of hotlines are also being increased for quick and prompt coordination of relief work between the centre and the state of Gujarat.

    The Department has also pressed into service many task force teams in the short distance charging areas of Bhuj for complete rehabilitation of switching and transmission system. Telecom personnel both administrative and technical are drawn from other parts of Gujarat as well as from Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra for restoration work.


Gujarat Earthquake



    Special measures were taken by the various agencies of the Ministry of Civil Aviation to help in the relief operations for the victims of earthquake in Gujarat.

Indian Airlines

    Indian Airlines has increased air services to Gujarat immediately after the earthquake on 26th January, 2001. IA has decided to provide free air transportation of relief materials on its flights. It has also decided to provide free handling facilities to charter flights bringing in relief materials from the State Governments and foreign Governments.

    IA operated one additional flight each from Mumbai and Delhi on 26th January in addition to their scheduled flights to all stations except Jamnagar. Six additional flights were operated on 27th January and three on 28th January, 2001. In accordance with the request of the State Government to operate daily flight from Mumbai to Bhuj and Ahmedabad to Bhuj, IA has started its operation.

    IA operated 10 additional flights on 29th January to Gujarat, 7 additional flights to various airports in Gujarat on 30th January and 7 additional flights on January 31st, 2001. In order to augment the capacity of passengers the aircraft on Delhi-Mumbai flights has been changed from A-320 to A-300 and it has been routed via Ahmedabad.

    IA has also drawn plans from 1st to 7th February, 2001 to cover Mumbai-Bhuj-Mumbai sector.

    The Ministry of Civil Aviation has requested to Department of Revenue to grant exemption on Inland Air Travel Tax on air tickets to be issued on rebated/complementary basis to volunteers and Doctors authorised by Ministry of Civil Aviation and Central Government Control Room.

Air India

    AI has extended transportation facilities on a positive space basis of relief material from all online points on its network. Efforts have been taken to ensure involvement of all airlines in transportation of relief material from all over the world, particularly points not covered by Air India.

    A specially trained tracking dog accompanied by a representative of Tutor Service Dogs based in Maryland, USA was specially flown in by Air India from New York to Ahmedabad on January 30-31, 2001. A group of eight members of the British International Rescue Team have travelled from London to Ahmedabad by Air India flight alongwith a trained dog to help in the evaculation of victims.

    10,000 fleece blankets contributed by the Indian Community in Indonesia are being flown in from Jakarta to Mumbai by Air India between 31st January and 1st February, 2001.

Airports Authority of India (AAI)

    AAI has taken immediate steps to restore satellite based communication in Gujarat. Kandla airport was activated for helicopter operation on 27th January and for winged aircraft (small size) on January 28th. For all non-scheduled flights involved in rescue and relief operations, AAI has waived off all airport charges.

Assistance from Private Airlines

    Overwhelming support is being received from countries all over the world and so far a total of 32 civil and military aircraft have already landed in India during the last three days, bringing relief materials.

    Turkmenistan Airlines have offered one IL -78 freighter aircraft capable of carrying 15 tonnes of cargo at the disposal of the Ministry of Civil Aviation. Ministry of Civil Aviation has placed the aircraft at the disposal of the air Force for scheduling all flight to Bhuj and other places. The aircraft has already started its operations.

    M/s Blue Dart have made available its three B737 freighter aircraft to the Ministry of Civil Aviation which have been placed at the disposal of Air Force. Their expenses will be borne by the Ministry of Civil Aviation.

    Jet Airways is operating additional flights to Bhuj and Rajkot.


Gujarat Earthquake



    Irrespective of the fact their own family members are affected, over 1500 NCC cadets are deployed in relief and rescue operations at Ahmedabad, Rajkot, Morbi, Patan, Mehsana and Jamnagar since 28 January 2001. NCC cadets are assisting army and civil authorities in carrying out relief and rescue operations.

    The cadets have been primarily carrying out tasks relating to debris removal, extricating injured, panic control and comforting bereaved families, removal of dead bodies, assisting hospital authorities in care of wounded to include feeding and administration of medicines as prescribed, distribution of food, water and relief supplies, setting up of tents, guidance to specialised vehicles and equipment and blood donation. They have also collected three tonnes of food items comprising rice, dal, ghee, biscuits and water pouches from V V Nagar and dispatched to Morbi.