Friday, 03 February 2023 | Gajendra Singh Negi | Dehradun
Amid all the hype of the Joshimath crisis triggered by alarming levels of land subsidence and the claims of providing relief and rehabilitation to the affected people one thing is clear that any plan of the government for reconstruction, rehabilitation, shifting or treatment of affected area hinges on the reports of the different scientific institutions engaged in Joshimath. As per the claim of the State administration all the institutes working on different aspects of Joshimath crisis have submitted their preliminary reports to the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) which in turn would compile their findings and submit its own report to the government. However all these institutes are likely to take another two to three months to prepare and submit their final reports to the NDMA which will then prepare its own final report for submission to the government. Cynics point out that the State government at present hassled by the attention being received by the Joshimath issue has found a convenient cushion in this time taking saga of the reports to take any concrete step in the direction of dealing with the disaster. They believe that this time tested mechanism of lingering things would ensure fizzling out of the energy from the Joshimath agitation.
The State president of the BJP Mahendra Bhatt has got an uncanny ability to kick up controversies. This time however the flamboyant leader was forced to eat his words when his comment made in the context of the Joshimath crisis put his own government on the dock. Bhatt’s claim that Maoists are active in Joshimath stirred up a hornet’s nest with the activists in Joshimath lambasting the State president of the saffron party. The opposition parties latched on to the opportunity to browbeat the government. They pointed out that if what Bhatt is saying is correct then it is a major failure of both the Union and the State governments and that action should be taken against the Maoists active in a strategically sensitive area such as Joshimath. After drawing flak from all quarters, Bhatt was forced to go on back foot. He clarified that the word Maoist got erroneously emanated out of his mouth but added that the leftist are active in Joshimath and left sympathisers from Delhi and JNU are coming to Joshimath to instigate people.
Though the recently culminated 3,570 km long Bharat Jodo Yatra from Kanyakumari to Srinagar taken out by Congress leader Rahul Gandhi didn’t pass through any part of Uttarakhand the spring in the feet of leaders in the Himalayan State suggests that it was able to infuse enthusiasm in cadre of the grand old party here. The top leadership of the State unit of the party including former CM Harish Rawat, PCC president Karan Mahara, Leader of Opposition (LoP) Yashpal Arya and former PCC president Pritam Singh were seen with RaGa in Jammu during the Yatra. Wisely enough the Congress leadership chose the occasion to express solidarity with the disaster affected people of Joshimath. One hopes that the leaders of the State Congress would carry forward the momentum generated by Yatra which would boost the morale of the party workers which in recent times has got a severe battering due to consecutive electoral reversals and internal bickering in the party.