Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has voiced criticism against Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin’s handling of the recent floods in the state. Sitharaman’s remarks encompassed the absence of Stalin during the crisis and raised questions about the government’s response. She also emphasized the Indian Meteorological Department’s (IMD) forecast, highlighting political implications in the flood aftermath.
Sitharaman’s Critique of Stalin’s Response:
During a press conference, Sitharaman questioned Chief Minister Stalin’s absence from the flood-affected areas while the state grappled with heavy rainfall. She highlighted Stalin’s presence in Delhi attending an INDIA bloc meeting during the unfolding crisis. Sitharaman stressed the importance of immediate action in mitigating flood impacts and expressed concerns over the delayed response.
IMD’s Forecast and Sitharaman’s Remarks:
Sitharaman underscored the IMD’s forecast on December 12, accurately predicting heavy rainfall in four affected Tamil Nadu districts. Contradicting Stalin’s claims of insufficient alerts, Sitharaman praised the timely warnings issued by the IMD. She also highlighted the advanced equipment at the Regional Meteorological Centre in Chennai that aided in the precise forecasting.
Comparison with the 2004 Tsunami:
Responding to criticism regarding the central government’s response, Sitharaman drew a parallel with the 2004 Tsunami during the UPA government. She noted that even during that disaster, it was not declared a national disaster, emphasizing consistency in disaster declarations.
Tamil Nadu’s National Disaster Appeal:
Stalin appealed to the central government to declare the floods a national disaster. Sitharaman clarified that the floods didn’t meet the criteria for such a declaration as the state had already received adequate funds. She mentioned an allocation of ₹900 crore for Tamil Nadu’s flood relief in the current fiscal year.
Release of Central Government Funds:
Sitharaman highlighted that the central government disbursed the entire earmarked ₹900 crore for flood relief to Tamil Nadu. She noted that the initial ₹450 crore installment was released before the cyclone hit, countering claims of inadequate support.
Sitharaman’s critique of Chief Minister Stalin’s flood response and IMD’s forecasting unfolds the political dynamics amid the crisis. Her remarks shed light on the accurate forecasting by the IMD and the allocation of funds, emphasizing the importance of prompt disaster management during calamities.
What did Sitharaman criticize about the response to Tamil Nadu’s floods?
Sitharaman criticized the lack of action despite the IMD’s five-day forecast warning about heavy rainfall, questioning the government’s inaction.
Was the 2004 Tsunami declared a national disaster?
No, Sitharaman highlighted that even during the 2004 Tsunami under the UPA government, it wasn’t declared a national disaster.
Why did Sitharaman mention Stalin’s absence during the crisis?
Sitharaman criticized Stalin’s presence in Delhi during the heavy rainfall in Tamil Nadu, questioning his priorities and timing.
What is the government’s response to Tamil Nadu’s floods?
The Centre allocated and disbursed ₹900 crore to Tamil Nadu for flood relief efforts in the current fiscal year.
How has Sitharaman’s statement sparked debate?
Sitharaman’s comments ignited discussions on disaster management effectiveness and proactive measures during natural calamities. The comparison to the 2004 Tsunami raised questions about handling major disasters.