July 3: Uttarakhand has once again fallen prey to the wrath of nature, as torrential rains continue to wreak havoc and disrupt normal life in the state. The state has seen worst situations in the past, but the current situation is fast resembling like the ghost of the 2013 flash floods, which completely destroyed Uttarakhand, and forced it to start life from scratch. The 2013 floods were the second worst natural disaster in the country, after the 2004 tsunami. This year, the monsoon has been here for just over two weeks and already the death toll is climbing each day. Also Read - Uttarakhand: Ganga Snan on June 20, 21 in Haridwar Cancelled Due to Covid-19 Situation
Rains are flooding Uttarakhand’s rivers and have already started triggering sporadic landslides, which have completely crippled the state’s transport system. Floods are also devouring vast agricultural lands, as well as property and lives. But, why is this happening? Were’t the state and the centre fore warned about this situation? And if they knew, why were they not able to relay this information effectively to the people who were likely to be affected by floods? Is history going to repeat itself, because we refused to learn some lessons that nature tried to teach us the hard way? ALSO READ: Uttarakhand cloudburst: Water level at major rivers rise above danger mark Also Read - UKSSSC Recruitment 2021: Notification for 513 Patwari and Lekhpal vacancies released | Direct Link Here
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The string of disasters that the state has seen during monsoons, first in 2009, then in 2012, and finally in its ugliest and most forceful form, in 2013, has been long in the making. The flooding in the rivers Bhagirathi and Alaknanda can be directly blamed on the successive overambitious center and state governments, who have aggressively pushed for policies which utilise the state’s hydel power potential, with complete disregard to the potential consequences and ramifications.
There had been repeated warnings about the adverse impact of harnessing the rivers so intensively. Studies were conducted on the irreversible damage that some of the proposed dams would cause the rivers. But the government went forward with the projects, nonetheless. Since its birth, Uttarakhand was being highlighted as a state with immense hydel power potential and the state has done nothing but move forward in that direction, even if that meant ignoring some conspicuous signs of imminent danger. Neither the state, nor the central government took any corrective steps, and sure enough, in 2013, the state’s residents had to bear the consequences of such blatant indifference.
In 2016, nothing has changed. The state and the central government continue to follow the policy of non-observance and ignorance. In light of all these actions, can we really call the situation is that is unfolding in the state, as natural calamity? Since 2013, the governments have had a long time to reflect and ruminate on the dire consequences of messing with sensitive elements of nature. This time too, if a disaster beckons, then it is of our own choosing, and we can no longer cry victim.