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New Delhi: The parliamentary standing committee on science and technology on Thursday asked the centre to provide more funds to the ministry of earth sciences (MoES) for research in its seismological programme.

The ministry has undertaken a deep drilling project in the earthquake-prone Koyna region of Maharashtra along with the National Geophysical Research Institute (NGRI). Under the project, is led by scientists and researchers, boreholes have been dug in the seismic zone to study earthquakes and fault zones.

The work being undertaken is part of the preparatory phase of the project and is relevant for collecting seismological data, the standing committee said in its report which was tabled in Rajya Sabha on 7 May.

The panel headed by Congress MP Ashwani Kumar found that only 4 crore was allotted to the ministry for the programme while it required an additional 48 crore.

It said funds must be ensured for the programme as research on earthquakes will help monitor critical parameters in the “near field" of earthquakes and also help India take a leadership role in this scientific issue.

The panel also advised the ministry to add more manpower and infrastructure for the proper functioning of the National Centre for Seismology that was set up by the ministry. The National Centre for Seismology was set up as a centre of excellence by bringing together all seismology and earthquake hazard related activities of IMD (Indian Meteorological Department) under one umbrella for deriving the desired scientific developments in the field of earthquake science. It was set up in year 2014 only and it is still not fully functional.

The ministry, meanwhile, has also taken up the task of seismic hazard microzonation of 30 select cities across India that fall in seismic zones V, IV and III. Seismic microzonation is a process of identifying and classifying areas in a region by their potential of earthquake-related effects. It has emerged as a major tool for planning towards pre and post disaster management strategies.

Stressing its importance, the panel has asked the government to carry out microzonation in consultation with state governments and other stakeholders. The panel said that the microzonation of these cities should be speeded up and necessary geophysical, geological and other data should be acquired from the Geological Survey of India.

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