Uttarakhand Floods: Nature’s Fury or Have We Dug Our Own Graves? – Part IX


In the last part of the series, Chandan Das elaborates on the reason why he feels that human beings have dug their own graves. He also highlights the hypocrisies that we indulge in the name of the Almighty!

“The clouds that gather round the setting sun
Do take a sober colouring from an eye
That hath kept watch o’er man’s mortality.”
William Wordsworth

ITBP rescue people

In case you learn, will you implement it?

Today, we’ve dug our own graves. Landslides and flash floods are not something new in the hilly state of Uttarakhand, more so in the recent times. Rescue operations are on but it is never easy to undertake such task in challenging terrains and adverse weather conditions.  After the deluge retreats, Uttarakhand will have to pick up the pieces. So can we implement the following?

  • Impose high environmental tax on visitors, particularly during summer and monsoon months
  • Inform public needs about their seminal role in mitigating disaster.
  • Define Disaster Management Plan, with standard operating procedures that would kick in when there is either warning of incidence of disaster.
  • Credible cumulative impact assessment
  • Proper functioning drainage system
  • Secured or relocate all vulnerable buildings away from rivers.
  • Impose penalties on building structures within 200 metres of river banks.
  • Hydropower policy considering building fewer dams and prioritise those that have the least environmental and social costs.
  • Independent and serious monitoring of the catchment area treatment plans.
  • Credible warning and forecasting mechanism
  • Proper weather forecast mechanism
  • Review of ongoing development works and scrap those that are going to increase the disaster and damage potential.
  • Assess buildings and hotels in the river bed and phase them out before next monsoon, assess other risky structures.
  • Accelerated use and wider application of geospatial mapping technology.
  • Enhancement of the Bhuvan platform – our own version of Google Earth.
  • Strict regulation of land use – critically, the avoidance of occupancy for agriculture and human settlement in river beds, drains and canals.
  • Heavily sizing down pilgrim numbers in fragile areas.

Well for the implementation of this , all that is needed is a “ Man Made” will power, not the Nature’s fury, isn’t it ?

Where has the Humanity gone?

Right now as I write this, the stories of those on the lookout for their kith and kin lost in flood-hit areas are bone-chilling. People are facing harrowing experience and staying without light, food and drinking water.

Sample this:

# Half a bucket of hot water sold for Rs 40/-

# Hotels booked for Rs 300 started charging Rs 3000/-

# Paratha 180/-

# Water bottles at Rs100/- a piece

# Per rice bowl Rs.500/-

# Rs 200 for a Rs 5/- biscuit packet

Oh, do you want to hear more?? A stranded woman tourist and her daughter were raped and murdered in Gaurikund area of Kedarnath valley. Some criminals reportedly murdered three brothers — all mule traders — in the same area and looted Rs. 17 lakh from them.

Now, when you commit sins like this on a land which is called DEVBHOOMI, do you expect the NATURE to not be angry? Oh yeah , when the HUMAN BEING digs his own grave,  NATURE will obviously show its fury!!

A deeply anguished, sad UTTARAKHANDI!!

Uttarakhand flood

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