DailyPost 2302

Does Joshimath depict an unresponsive ecosystem, or its incapability to stall man-made disasters in the offing or is that it works as a handiwork for commercial gains. The real purpose of their existence is being defeated with every passing day. Trust, credibility, responsiveness and delivery are critical to governance. Uttarakhand has been at the receiving end of such disasters and serious ones, and the expectation was that the system would gear up to meet the likely challenging requirements. That has certainly not happened. How do people know that something of this nature is in the offing? Even if some symptoms are seen and brought to the government’s notice, based on the experience does immediate action take place? The final thought and the scariest one is whether governments have time for serious governance.

Joshimaths of different types have been created in this country through difference modus operandi to the dismay of the masses. They have always remained at the receiving end. The natural calamity gets mixed with the active support the human elements provide to make it happen knowingly or unknowingly, to the extent that it becomes impossible to discern which was the actual cause. Government mechanism vacillation between well calibrated slumber to crisis management as the final and the only tool is at the crux of the problem. Joshimath, as per news reports, seems to have been on the brink of disaster for at least some reasonable time. The nature of seismic zone and earth structure cannot be dispensed with the executive administration of the area.

“Manmade natural disasters”, we need to understand as a specific “state of creation”, the Indian governance has a chequered history of over the decades. The Bangalore floods last year is another clear cut example of this state of affairs. Bangalore is replete with such examples. Bellandur lake is iconic example by the way it has been handled. The small, riskier and eternally dangerous one, is the unending saga to our endless potholes and the deaths happening as a result of that. Unfortunately, it is also ascribed lots of time to the rain gods. Let’s not talk about the inconvenience that the people face day in and day out and risk which they are forced to take. How many of these do you ascribe to the state of administration today?

Look around yourself and you will any number of such situations, which people are forced to grapple with because of lack of serious governance. Governance at a different level means it capability to handle proficiently knotty issues, over time with perseverance, expertise and grit to deliver. Will the Bangalore floods disappear in the next major downpour or Joshimath type situation will never happen again. Serious governance means picking up an issue, put all expertise that can be garnered, create a blueprint with timelines, facilitate decision making, arrange resources and execute for whatever it takes, and reach the first stage of completion. Rest can be built on it consistently. Are we ready for a long haul to evade the large number of man propelled natural disasters, which are on the verge to happen. The tipping point and the disaster is there.

Sanjay Sahay

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