Tuesday, 17 July 2018 | PNS | DEHRADUN–
Accusing the State Government yet again of failing in disaster management and anomalies in the anti-encroachment drive underway in different parts of the State, the Congress approached Raj Bhawan on Monday. Headed by Pradesh Congress Committee president Pritam Singh, the party delegation submitted a memorandum to the Governor Krishan Kant Paul seeking efficient measures for the disaster affected and observance of Supreme Court directions regarding the anti-encroachment drive.
In the memorandum, the Congress members said that people in different parts of the State have suffered considerable damage due to heavy rains being experienced since the midnight of July 10. While heavy rains and landslides have caused several deaths in the mountainous regions, seven people have so far died in Dehradun district apart from which rainwater and debris entering homes have caused considerable damage to the citizens.
Citing the devastation caused in Chamoli district following heavy rain pastSunday midnight, they alleged that the disaster management machinery had not reached the affected on time. Alleging that the disaster management machinery of the State had failed, the delegation said that interaction with people in the affected areas had revealed that the local administration and disaster management department remain inactive during disaster scenarios and even after being informed, failed to reach the affected places after many hours. Disaster affected people in the State have not received any relief from the authorities six days after the disaster even as no safety measures have been undertaken for the future despite warning from the meteorological department. People in the disaster affected areas are living in dread even as the threat of floods due to heavy rains in the future remains present.
The Congress has demanded that adequate compensation be provided to families of those who died and the disaster affected families. Residents of the affected areas should be shifted to secure locations and proper arrangements should be made to protect them and provide them food and other basic facilities.
Regarding the High Court-ordered anti-encroachment drive underway in the State, the delegation informed the Governor that the High Court order had been modified by the Supreme Court on July 4. The SC had directed the State authorities to issue notices to encroachers in three weeks, address their replies/objections and then take necessary action while maintaining status quo until then. However, these directions are being ignored and in some places even legitimate constructions have been demolished. Singh said that Congress doesn’t support encroachers but it is unjust to ignore the principle of natural justice and demolish legitimate buildings in the anti-encroachment drive.
The delegation asked the Governor to direct the State Government to do the needful for temporarily halting the anti-encroachment drive on humanitarian grounds considering the heavy rains being experienced.
BJP RUBBISHES CONG ALLEGATIONS
Criticising the Congress for the memorandum against the State Government submitted to the Governor, the Bharatiya Janata Party State media in charge Devendra Bhasin termed it “nothing more than an attempt to grab space in the media”.
He said that the State machinery is fully alert to tackle disasters and among other arrangements two helicopters have also been facilitated for this purpose.
The anti-encroachment drive is being executed as per high court orders on which a daily report is to be sent to the HC. However, considering public inconvenience, the State Government is filing a petition in the supreme court. Basically, the Congress is left without issues to raise, he added.
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