The failure of the state apparatus in Kashmir during the recent flood has appalled not only the hapless residents of the state but across the country the unbelievable spectacle of the Valley where government disappeared for almost twos week has left everyone shell shocked. Had it not been the Indian army the situation would have been even worse, assert locals.
The people are now asking where the state apparatus disappeared, where was the Chief Minister and his police, the flood department, police boats, warning system and the entire disaster management system. The bund in Srinagar which was breached could have been repaired and floods could have been managed in a better way had authorities acted on warnings, made a disaster plan and acted on it. But nothing worked when Srinagar was ravaged by water, and even the government functionaries in rest of Kashmir which was not submerged did not take any evasive action.
The Chief Minister, and his cabinet did not act in time, neither the secretariat officials, nor policemen who are trained acted in time leaving lakhs of people in lurch, rue locals. The Chief Minister could have coordinated with army, ensured that his top officials were evacuated immediately, and a disaster action plan be made functional. Men and material from neighbouring Budgam, Shopian, Kangan and Baramulla could have been commandeered to manage the grave situation. In fact relief camps could have been set up in higher reaches close to the city, and relief procured from neighbouring districts but nothing of this sort happened showing the paralysis of government, and administration. The politician in Kashmir led by the Chief Minister, and ably assisted by his cabinet, opposition and the separatists as well showed how empty their promises are, and how little empathy they have for the general public. Except for self preservation nothing exemplary was showcased by politicians in Kashmir valley who could have emerged as ture champions of their people had they acted during the tragedy.
While the local people, youth volunteers, NGOs could act and ensure timely help to people what was stopping the trained bureaucracy, and the line staff in acting during this precarious time. The failure of the government, lack of leadership shown by administration now needs to be probed, and those responsible for the tragedy turning into a calamity should be held accountable. The role of all politicians, government servants, and ministers should be analysed and responsibility of failure fixed. Unless corrective measures are taken there is every likelihood that if god forbid similar disaster strikes things would remain the same, and people will left to survive on their own.