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NPCC welcomes constitution of Advisory Panel with reservations

Nagaland News

DIMAPUR, MAY 27: The Nagaland Pradesh Congress Committee (NPCC) today welcomed the State Government’s move to constitute an advisory panel of experts to give its expert opinion on emergency response to COVID-19 to the State Disaster Management Authority (SDMA) and State Executive Committee (SEC). However, it said by concealing the order of constituting an advisory panel until it was revealed through a particular local daily, the state Government has exposed its own insecurities and inability to inspire confidence in the people.

A press release issued by Communications Department, NPCC stated that the 3 names on the panel of experts, who are all from outside the State and will be communicating virtually, leaves much to be desired.
“A situation may arise when the advisory panel, bereft of understanding real time ground situation may become counterproductive in our battle against this pandemic. Therefore, more number of eminent people from the State who can contribute effectively must be included in advisory panel for effective monitoring and controlling this raging pandemic situation”, it opined.
Alleging that the State Government has been clueless in functioning and relying more on ad-hocism ever since the pandemic lockdown began in March 2020, the NPCC said when the provisions of the National Disaster Management Act, 2005 was invoked for the first time on March 24, 2020 it automatically meant the State Disaster Management Authority (SDMA), under the Chairmanship of Chief Minister, and the State Executive Committee (SEC), headed by Chief Secretary, were to take full control of the extraordinary situation.
However, it said contrary to provisions of National Disaster Management Act (2005), an ‘Empowered Committee’ headed by an Additional Chief Secretary was entrusted for over 2 months. It was only on June 2 that the State Cabinet constituted a High Powered Committee (HPC), headed by Chief Minister, which has been functioning till today.
“By deviating from the provisions of NDMA to have HPC instead of SDMA taking control, whether intentional or out of ignorance, the State Government has only exposed its shortcomings and ill preparedness from the very beginning”, it added.

Accusing the State Government of acting through HPC rather than constitutionally mandated SDMA, the NPCC said this deviation from the provisions of National Disaster Management Act, 2005 at the top by State Government goes down to the level of some villages and colonies enforcing their own lockdown rules, thereby making a mockery of entire system.
The NPCC urged the State Government to stick to provisions of NDMA 2005 through SDMA instead of duplicating works through HPC, as decisions taken by HPC are not legally enforceable if one goes by the law.
(Page News Service)