Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Looking Positively of North Karnataka Flood

Dear Friends ,

The following article gives some points for disaster management in the public administration syllabus. Though it speaks of the North Karnataka flood scenario it can be used for answer writing for any disaster and to find positive impacts of disaster.


I have greatest sympathy for those whose life is can no more be called as life. In this grave scenario 'WHAT WE CAN DO' carries most significance than what has been happened and HOW WE CAN BUILD is of utmost importance than what has been destructed also how we can prevent these kinds of natural disasters should be given importance than only to bring their life to normalcy.

Though this is by far the worst calamity in NK , it provides immense opportunity to nation building activities for the administration in power and can be utilised to build real 'Siri Gandhada Gudi' ( land of sandalwood)

What can be done ?

Ofcourse our priority has to be - to bring the normalcy as soon as possible but it should not be done in a hurry and only for name sake.

Instead of giving them the life that they were living why not give them a better life ?

With this unwanted flood , we can remove THE SLUMS in entire NK by good planning - as everything that has to be destroyed to remove a slum has been done free of cost ! ( sorry if it sounded surcastically but I hope you can understand what I am telling ) and an unwanted opportunity to build from the scratch has been provided So why not make the most of it?

NK needs better irrigation system badly and requires small / big dams whereever possible which are oriented towards irrigation and building dam needs lot of displacement of people and needs lot of land acquisition activity - currently we have already displaced people and why not provide them good lands and accomodation now itself so that we can build good water reservoisers in future ?

Leave aside dams , for that matter any infrastructure building activity requires land acquisition - like SEZs , roads , industrial development ..why not identify the land now and promise those displaced people of better future.

In all the above tasks there is one common challenge-to convince the people and appropriately compensate them.

Most importantly this 'act of god' should provide good opportunity for the district administration to plug the gaps in disaster management.

While all these things takes time and political will and takes good visionary to make them visualise the better future - the question is who will bell the cat. Or does the governament know this can be done.

I hear a back bench voice telling me - if the government was this wise - this calamity would not have happened !!!

People have lost faith and hope in political promises and politicians have lost credibility among people. So they are not even giving good hopes to hope less people. Now you know Obama did not win the Nobel for nothing - its here he is successful - creating HOPE.

How it can be done ?

The immediate need for those displaced is to provide shelter , food and medical facilities this can be done as Srilanka did in a recent refugee camp during its full blown assault on LTTE. So lets establish a refugee shelter on a temporary basis instead of start building the houses where they were earlier and buy time say 3-4 months. This time can be utilised for the planning and with whole of government's resource at the disposal this is not an impossible task.

Though the task is easier said than done - it is not impossible - If the money available at governament's disposal is used efficiently without corruption the task is not difficult. Then remains convincing and promising the people of better future. If government does credible job withoug politicising the issues even this is not difficult and can be achieved.

In the worst case lets think - not all of what I mentioned above is not possible but two things can be definitely achieved - administration reforms in handling the disasters and removing the slums and building better connectivity

I only wish so called IAS officers will make better use of this opportunity in bringing the light to those lives whose life has been destroyed. With the amount money at the disposal I am not sure of the people affected by the flood but more than 100% sure that SOME officers' life will prosper.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Batt,
    The above said approach is good. But in reality the political side of the government spending most of their time and energy (people Money) to satisfy their capitalist, which is against the concept of welfare state and democracy.The problem is not obeying the constitution. we have to address the mishap at the Grassroots level.Why i am inclined to politicians is the policy making power is vested with the so called Ministers.

    Administrators always have the role of rendering advice to the politicians such good ideas like the aforesaid one, we need a responsible other end to lead the process.

    For this, I may suggest an independent permanent monitoring committee for disaster management can be created to assess the situation along with inputs from administrators and respective ministers , deliberately. This staff organisation may assist the state government for further development.