In spite of several tragedies at places of pilgrimage,the state as well as the Centre have not learned any lessons on disaster management. On paper we have a National Disaster Management Authority comprising people who have no time for any useful work related to it. NDMA under the chairmanship of a politician with a Cabinet rank didnt call even one meeting during the past few years. It was known to the administration that lakhs of pilgrims would visit Badrinath and Kedarnath before the onset of the monsoon. Knowing the vagaries of torrential rains in hilly terrain,the state assisted by the Centre should have kept a few work forces at selected vulnerable points and also should have arranged for early warning against sudden heavy downpour and consequent flash floods. In the recent Uttarakhand tragedy,there was no semblance of preparedness for rescue,first aid and evacuation. It was due to the ever preparedness of the Indian Army and the Indian Air Force that the lives of thousands of people were saved. Helicopter flying in mountainous area,especially during poor visibility,is very risky and require extreme skills.
The IAF pilots showed great efficiency during the tragedy. They have set an example for the whole nation in rising to the occasion with fortitude and courage in the face of a calamity. The Nation will always remember with gratitude the services of our soldiers including men of ITBP. It may also be noted that certain politicians rushed to the scene of disaster,despite instructions from the Home Minister. They hindered the rescue operations and created inconvenience to the soldiers involved in the rescue efforts. Instead,the so called VVIPs could have remained in the back ground and mustered resources to help the people. Major Mathew Oommen (retd),
Unnecessary gate at Khadki crematorium
There is already a new gate at the crematorium of Khadki,but still public representatives and officials want to construct another gate at the same place. Actually,what is there to protect? The mortal remains which are already burnt? The public representatives and officials seem to be very much worried about this. They dont see the stinking filth lying outside the garbage bin.
KCB workers handle the garbage with bare hands. They have no shoes,no gloves neither face masks. They can easily fall prey to dangerous diseases. But the elected representatives are not worried about this. They are only worried about constructing gates after gates in Khadki.
Khadki Citizens Forum