JAMMU, July 31: Former minister and JKPCC president Raman Bhalla today said that though heavy rain and flood are natural causes, the Union and LG Governments cannot shed their responsibilities for saving lives and livestock, especially after passage of National Disaster Management Act, 2005.
He said many measures can be taken to prevent the scale of devastation to life and property in the first place, and then in providing relief to the affected. It needs a comprehensive plan beyond the present ad hoc approach to deal with the issues related to flooding and waterlogging.
While interacting with various people during visit to flood hit area of Jammu today, Bhalla alleged that administration was responsible for poor drainage system in Jammu. The rain has also exposed the condition of roads with substandard work. Most of the internal roads were water-logged and require repairs. Roads in posh colonies of the are also in bad shape. But unfortunately, the government has displayed insensitive, lackadaisical, partisan behaviour towards rain fury in J&K, he added.
Bhalla said that when it rains there is chaos in administration. Concerned agencies constantly keep blaming each other. Their inability to deal with the rains is also a result of poor management by administration. People should remember these rainy days and BJP Govt when the city is paralysed because during the elections all of this is forgotten. BJP never fights elections on development or how it has performed, but on communal lines – not only is hatred incited, but language issues are raked up too. BJP Govt has failed to give enough attention to the problems of Jammu besides JMC’s incompetence to deal with monsoon, Bhalla added.
Congress leader said that BJP making people obsessed with grand plans like Smart Cities and big projects, but they lack the basic understanding of a city and the importance of planning. They every now and then claim investing in big-ticket projects, statues and memorials, but there is terrible under-investment in basic infrastructure. He said people of J&K ideally need a dedicated govt having efficient manpower which understands the city, has technical sound knowledge of planning norms and whose responsibility is to put it to use instead of attending inaugurations and ceremonies.
He pointed out that most of the major roads in the city remained waterlogged due to a lack of a proper drainage system. Low lying areas and others witnessed logged roads with knee-deep water confining residents in their homes. Other adjoining areas witnessed water entering into their houses. While people expressed their anger against the authorities, they were also perpetually worried about the impact of the Monsoon ahead, Bhalla added.