oppn parties India Quick To Help Turkey But Must Also Learn Lessons From The Earthquake

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India Quick To Help Turkey But Must Also Learn Lessons From The Earthquake

By A Special Correspondent
First publised on 2023-02-09 07:57:19

Large parts of Turkey and Syria have been ravaged by earthquakes and it has resulted in the death of more than 16000 people (more than 12000 in Turkey alone) and widespread destruction of public and private property and disruption of power, logistics and communication services. It has been the worst such series of earthquakes to hit the region in several decades. India has been quick to respond - it has already sent relief material (in several tranches) and has dispatched a unit of the elite disaster management force to Turkey to help in rescue and relief operations. Turkey has appreciated India's quick response and has said that India has stood by it in its hour of need like a true friend.

The Centre must be commended for helping Turkey. India's disaster management force is recognized worldwide as one of the best. They will obviously provide great strength to the local disaster management authorities and help them in tricky situations with their valuable inputs. Also, at this time of national calamity in Turkey, the relief materials in the form of medicines and daily necessities will go a long way in helping people who have lost their homes and livelihoods.

There is also a lesson for India in this. A large part of India also falls in seismically active zone. India, like Turkey, is also suffering from poor quality construction and rampant violation of building rules in these areas and this means that all buildings in such areas are prone to damage if an earthquake of a small magnitude hits and collapse and destruction in case of a stronger one. India must now make it mandatory for use of earthquake-resistant materials for building houses in these areas. It is necessary to take all measures to minimize loss of lives and property. But with rampant corruption in municipalities, it is doubtful whether the guidelines prescribed in the National Building Code of 2016 will be adhered to even if they are made mandatory in such areas. Builders often throw prudence to the winds in order to earn more and local officials help them by taking their cut.

Picture courtesy:  nature.com (caption ours)