This refers to the editorial “Unprecedented havoc” (Oct. 5). It is painful to see the devastation caused by the rains in Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. Normal life in the flood-hit areas has come to a standstill. Our country is hit by heavy floods every year but we are hardly prepared to manage them. While it is not possible to prevent natural calamities, we can reduce the magnitude of the disaster if we put in place an effective management system. Interlinking major rivers will balance the two extremes — floods and drought.
S. Lakshmi Narayanan,
Even after years of havoc rains and floods have inflicted on the people, we do not have any policy on flood management. Crores are spent every year on the visits of officials from the Centre to flood devastated areas. What do our Ministers do after the expensive airborne exercises? Why waste money?
That hundreds of people have lost their homes and belongings in the heavy floods is pathetic. The governments are doing what they can. It may take more time for normality to be restored in villages and small hamlets that have been marooned due to the floods. No help can compensate the losses. The most important thing at this point of time is to ensure that epidemics do not break out. Timely care will prevent further human losses. People should come forward to lend a helping hand to the victims.
The flood fury of an unprecedented nature in the Krishna and Tungabadra basin districts, with its attendant toll of human lives, devastation of property and loss of standing crops, calls for the creation of a disaster management machinery. Even the Bay of Bengal, where the Krishna river finds its outlet, was not in a position to receive the huge quantum of water, with the sea tides seen pushing back the river water, inundating hundreds of villages in Guntur.
The havoc caused by the floods in Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka is huge and unfortunate. We need to ponder whether we could have managed the situation better. The floods are the result of heavy rains in the catchments of the Tungabadra and Krishna rivers. It must have taken three days for the water to travel down from the catchments to the affected areas. I am sure our Met department would have predicted the heavy rains at least a few days before the actual rains.
Why could we not put in place an integrated disaster management system to start releasing water from the downstream dams before they became un-manageable?
Prem Kumar Gutty,
The heavy rains in Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka, rendering thousands of people homeless, have once again shown than man is helpless against nature. As the States face a serious calamity, we should come together and lend a hand in rehabilitating the affected. Let us help in every possible way.
Our hearts go out to the flood victims in Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. No amount of aid given in cash or kind at this hour of crisis would be too much. The government has urged the public to donate generously. The only way most people could help is by way of monetary contributions. But the truth of the matter is that many of us, aware of the lack of accountability associated with the government handling of funds, are sceptical regarding the actual use of the money collected. It is a pity that such distrust remains a barrier to adequate mobilisation of the much-needed funds for flood relief.
Shaila S. Shenoy,