Safeguarding Against Nature’s Fury
Nature’s fury has turned the ongoing festival season into a season of disasters. States, spreading from the northern part of the country to down south, are all badly affected by unseasonal rains, landslides and floods. Human death toll has reached double figures and properties worth crores have been damaged as nature behaved in an unpredictable manner this autumn. As per experts, climate change is the reason behind these disasters. But merely identifying the culprit is not enough to ease the plight of those affected, adequate measures should be taken to safeguard the populace from such natural calamities. No country can single handedly tackle global warming, but each country can contribute immensely in keeping the global temperature under check by not harming earth’s ecological balance in the name of development.
Every tragedy comes with a lesson, but more often than not no lessons are learnt from such calamities. For example, after the 2013 tragedy in Kedarnath, it was claimed that adequate arrangements had been made to ensure the safety of tourists and to preserve nature as well. But all claims turned hollow as a huge number of people who were either on their way to Kedarnath or coming back after visiting the place were affected during the latest disaster. Such a situation could easily have been averted by constructing emergency shelters by the side of the roads leading to the famous shrine. Further, it is now known that the state administration did not have complete data on the groups that went trekking in the Himalayas when disaster struck. Such failure to keep a watch on tourists is not only hampering rescue operations, but also puts a question mark on the safety and security of human lives and property.
Same is the scenario in Kerala. After the 2018 devastating flood which claimed nearly 500 lives, the much-touted measures taken to prevent a similar disaster in the future turned out to be inadequate in the wake of disaster. It appeared that the state had no blueprint on how to effectively combat such an eventuality. As a result, the horror of 2018 revisited ‘God’s own country’ and as the surface temperature of the Arabian Sea has increased by 52 per cent, such disasters are bound to happen more frequently, which is a clear danger sign for the state.
Thus, sensing the gravity of the situation, states should formulate time-bound action plans based on their requirements to minimise damages associated with nature’s fury. Odisha is the best example to follow in this regard. The Super Cyclone in 1999 took the state to the brink of extinction. But the state has made a remarkable turnaround as it managed to put in place an effective system to prevent loss of human lives and properties due to cyclones. Deforestation, unregulated construction, encroachment of wetlands and quarrying, etc. should be prevented at any cost. Global warming is a reality and our responsibility is to minimise its effects to safeguard our planet.