Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Himalayan tsunami: Uttarakhand damage can't be blamed on nature's fury alone

Dear Comrades,
Cloudbursts, landslides and flash floods are an annual affair in Uttarakhand. The monsoon of 2010 brought with it such massive losses of lives, property, crops and infrastructure that the state said its development clock had been set back by a decade. Things are much, much worse this year. With many highways damaged, bridges washed away, electricity and phone networks down, several ravaged places continue to be marooned. Expect the final tally to be horrifying. After all, the speediest monsoon in over 50 years has just dumped over 400% more than average rainfall over Uttarakhand and neighbouring Himachal Pradesh.

Himachal chief minister blames nature's fury — against which all disaster management must, presumably, fail. This characterisation is deceptive. India's premier disaster management body neither has implemented any project successfully nor has much information over progress at the state level. As for the Met, it's passing the buck by saying the state government had been warned about torrential rains on Friday night. Even if local administration had understood the implications of meteorological data, it didn't have much time to put out effective warnings across a state where 65% of the area is under forests.

The bottom line is that in a region that has more reason than most for disaster preparedness, both local and central arms of the government have been greatly wanting. Personnel of the Army, Border Roads Organisation and Indo-Tibetan Border Police are trying their best. But a couple of dozen helicopters flying a few hundred sorties a day to rescue a region full of distressed citizens is emblematic of millennial India's broken promises. Some of these sorties were abandoned for want of fuel, while helplines are not giving nearly as much help as they should.

In Uttarakhand circle especially Seasonal Post Offices to G.D.S. employees Problems cannot be imagined such situations . Keeping in view the geographical and climatic condition of the area is Himalayan Valley there are many seasonal post Offices in the snow bound hilly areas which are kept open only for 6/7 months during summer and will remain closed for the next 5/6 months every year. The employees working in such Post Offices are kept out of job during the off season and neither any kind of leave is granted to them nor any kind of allowance/alternative job is given to them. Under such circumstances these employees have to struggle even for their survival. Such employees should either be granted half pay leave/special leave or they should be attached to the neighboring Post Offices so that they may earn something for their survival till the next year’s working starts. 
         No Provision of special amenities to the Gramin Dak Sevak working in odd situations in hilly areas. Keeping in view the geographical and climatic condition of the country, the G.D.S. are working in a pitiable condition as compare to other employees of Govt. of India and they face much difficulties on account of odd climatic and geographical condition remoteness of areas, dangerous hilly routes of traveling, snow falls, land slides etc. A brief description of hardships faced by the employees is submitted as under and the proposals for redressal of the grievances are also noted against each. 
          Remoteness of areas: Most of the hilly areas are not so easy of access. These areas are generally spread over in remote corners of hills and high mountains much far away from Rail or Bus heads. The employees have to travel on foot. The essential commodities are rarely available and at a very high cost. No basic facilities are available there. The Departmental employees are compensated in the form of remote locality allowance/Border area allowance/Difficult area allowance, backward area allowance. But the E.D. employees (G.D.S) are deprived from the same. A provision of similar allowance should also be made to the Gramin Dak Sevaks
Odd climatic condition/difficulties to G.D.S.:
     It is very difficult to explain all the difficulties. These may rather be experienced by a physical survey of experts. These difficulties may be compensated by raising the minimum working hours/work-load from the existing 3 hours to 5 hours. In accordingly ,more than 5hours. Providing boots, shoes, warm clothing and rain coat etc. to enable the poor employees to perform their duties with a sense of security.Granting additional insurance cover to the employees those who are working in risky areas at high altitudes.Granting hard duty allowance/Risk allowance for the specially identified in dangerous areas.

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