Editorial

Editorial: Don’t Sleep on Calamities; Wake up

For decades, India has faced the dual calamities of floods and draught synchronously year after year, yet government is not prepared enough to handle with success a situation like draught in Bundelkhand and most recently floods in Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh, which have claimed 230 lives hitherto. The current floods with over 18 lakh people being displaced are already century’s biggest rain havoc in the country.

The problem is bigger than it seems. It’s not just about torrential rains and then its aftermath. What came to light in case of Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh, though a repeated event, is very painful and still shameful. As floods situation is improving in Karnataka, situation is getting grimmer in neighbouring Andhra Pradesh. The surging waters of one state could not be arrested in reservoir within its own boundaries, which consequently headed for abutting province playing havoc there.

Sadly, it happened despite Andhra Chief Minister K Rosaiah’s taking the matter with his Karnataka counterpart B S Yeddyurappa in advance. Apparently, B S Yeddyurappa didn’t have things ready on the ground to keep his promise. And we have century’s biggest floods havoc in the country. Central government has yet not declared the disaster as a national calamity in spite of huge damage to lives and large scale displacement. It’s another miserable aspect of the tragedy.

Develop a system to store water and divert an excess of it to other region in a safe way which can then be stored for useful purposes there. Interlinking of rivers has been suggested as way to solve both floods and draughts. Nevertheless, many people have opposition to changing natural course of rivers.

Once water recedes, we will then see spread of killer diseases like dengue, malaria and diarrheoa. So, the tragedy is always greater. More lives are lost in the medical aftermath of floods than in floods themselves. In last sixty years, we have lost thousands of lives in floods, draughts and resultant medial calamities but have not taken the solution of the problem seriously.

The solution is crystal clear: develop a system to store water and divert an excess of it to other region in a safe way which can then be stored for useful purposes there. Interlinking of rivers has been suggested as way to solve both floods and draughts. Nevertheless, many people have opposition to changing natural course of rivers.

Let there be a brainstorming session of experts like disaster management specialists, scientists, medical experts etc for a possible solution of floods and draughts and development of better disaster management and rescue technologies so that devastation by natural calamities can be reduced to minimum, which, too, is handled by improved techniques of management and rehabilitation. Every single life is precious. Every single person is treasure to nation.

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