Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Relief measures

As many as 169 people lost their lives, over 1.2 lakh houses collapsed, over 350 villages were marooned, and 3,048 animals were washed away in the incessant rains that wrecked havoc in the 16 districts of Northern Karnataka over the last week. Home Minister VS Acharya said that 1,77,425 people have been given shelter in 589 relief camps across the state. The total damage caused by the rains is estimated to be around Rs 10,000 crore.
“We have not yet done an assessment of the losses as we are waiting for the water to recede from villages and fields. But the losses could be about Rs 10,000 crore,” Acharya said at a press conference on Sunday.
The toll is likely to go up as it is feared that about 20 people have been buried alive in a landslide in Karwar district. Eight helicopters and 73 boats have been engaged for relief and rescue operations.
“The entire government machinery from village level to the state level is attending rescue and relief operations,” Acharya said, adding that the government has released Rs 400 crore. (Express)


Shrinidhi Hande said...

can the government set up a transparent mechanism to show how every paisa of relief funds have been utilized?

Santosh S said...

Hi,I am regular reader of your blog and have very huge respect and appreciation that you're conveying and doing good work by keeping all folks updated over blogger too.

Have one question in mind,Hope if you get time will answer it.Though before trying to post it here i tried to get the answer from many of my friends,others but no answer on that.

169 People died. :( .I am really not concerned about the homes/buildings/roads.But,People lives.at all the time karnataka villagers/farmers are having tough times.

Officials were having well enough time to alert people of karnataka regarding the incident.it was not like sunami all of a sudden big waves came and vanished people.

But,Why Governament did not try to save people lives.As officials will be knowing that this bloody rain might occur and might play with people lives.

Why all this precautions are not being taken.

I know that now govt is taking care of people and lot of visits, estimates are happening.but all this is postmortem.

Please help me to understand.I hope moderator will approve this comment.Thanks.

Dr. Rajkiran Panuganti said...


Your's is a very good question and let me try to answer from what I understand of the situation that caused deaths.

I believe the govt. has given notification regd. the floods to local authorities (though I'm not sure how well and how seriously, it has given the notification).

What happens in most of these places (even now) is that many people do not like to vacate due to one of the following reasons: (These are all my guesses from what I'm aware of things happening during such events)

a) The floods might not be so much that it will submerge them - Many just go on top of their roofs and when water reaches to upper levels, they will die. People think their houses are good enough - suddenly, a roof collapses and people die.

b) A lot of people go back to fetch whatever valuables they have at home without informing authorities and in the process, few die - I'm aware of such deaths happening in Vijayawada, AP

c) Insufficient infrastructure on side of authorities to make the notification reach every nook and corner of every village - as in India, every dwelling place is not registered and not on paper

d) Accidents - people who do not know swimming - and people trying some heroics

e) Last but not the least, there will be lapses on the part of govt. too.

However, I agree with the larger sentiment that you raised - we need to learn to value every single life -- preparedness (and awareness education) to be to such an extent that human loss can never happen in situations that are totally avoidable.