People's Democracy(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)
August 13, 2006
A National Calamity
SAVAGE floods have inundated large tracts of the country. The situation in Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Gujarat and some other parts is, indeed, extremely grave. What is more ominous is the fact that the rising waters in many rivers show no signs of abatement.
Already hundreds of precious lives have been lost. The death of significant number of cattle and livestock has serious implications for the future of agricultural operations in these areas. Property worth hundreds of crores of rupees had been destroyed.
These deaths need to be condoled from the bottom of our hearts. At the same time, all efforts must be made to ameliorate the misery of the millions languishing as a result of such large scale destruction and displacement. The administration must, on a war footing, mount relief operations and save and protect all those who need to be. Elsewhere where such ravages appear imminent, the administration must be prepared and brace itself to face the eventualities. The central government needs to proactively help the state governments in such efforts. The customary waiting for the state government’s requests and subsequently responding to them must be given the go-bye. The recently constituted National Disaster Management Authority must immediately rise to the occasion to reaffirm its relevance and effectiveness.
The efforts of the administration must be significantly complemented by people’s organisations and other institutions. Collection of money and resources for relief operations must be immediately mounted.
This is a national calamity. The response to meet this must, therefore, be national and all encompassing.