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Relief, rescue top priorities in Uttarakhand: Centre

Thursday, 20 June 2013 - 3:21pm IST | Place: New Delhi | Agency: PTI
Tewari said the Centre has given top priority to relief and rescue operations and has been coordinating with the state government in this regard.

Amid reports of rapid urbanisation leading to flash floods in Uttarakhand, Central government today said its priority was to focus on relief and rescue operations in the rain-ravaged hill state and "post-mortem can be done later".

"It is not necessary to get into that. The post-mortem can be done later," I&B Minister Manish Tewari told reporters. He was responding to a volley of questions on whether unregulated development in the hills or faulty weather forecasts were responsible for the magnitude of the devastation due to heavy rainfall in Uttarakhand.

Tewari said the Centre has given top priority to relief and rescue operations and has been coordinating with the state government in this regard.

He also asked political parties, "who are quick with advise", to try and mobilise their cadre and contribute towards relief efforts in the affected state.

"I think possibly there comes a time when we should stop scoring brownie points," Tewari said.

The situation in Uttarakhand was being monitored on daily basis and the Central government will augment relief and rescue operations if required, he said.

The relief and rescue operations in Uttarakhand, where thousands are feared to have been killed due to flash floods caused by heavy rains, were reviewed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh at a meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Security this morning.

Asked whether the India Meteorological Department (IMD) erred in making forecasts, Tewari said: "I don't think we should get into this debate today. This post-mortem can be done later. Once this relief and rescue phase gets over, we can analyse these things later."


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