21 January, 2021

The Open Floodgates

How reckless development and lack of preparedness added to the disaster

The Open Floodgates
  • Dammed: Over 600 dams are either operational, under construction or being planned along the Alaknanda and the Bhagirathi, which combine to form the  Ganga.
  • 0 Not one river valley project was rejected by the MoEF from April 2007-Dec 2012

Natural calamities may be acts of God. But how we react to them, reduce the scope of disaster depends very much upon us. The death and destruction wreaked upon Uttarakhand by heavy rain, cloudbursts, flash floods and landslides is an indictment of our weak governance, sluggish systems and our inability to develop a coherent balance between environment protection and development. Could the damage have been minimised? Some hard questions must be asked of the central and state governments.

One area of concern for me is the predictive role of the meteorological department and how state governments respond to it. The met department forecasts weather for a week in advance. According to the newspapers, the department had forecast very heavy rain and bad weather. If...



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