Lok Satta

Saturday, 03 October 2009 00:00

Supply satellite phones, power generators: Dr. JP

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Lok Satta President Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan today suggested that satellite phones and diesel power generators be supplied to on a war footing to offices of collectors, superintendents of police and other important government functionaries, power generation and transmission centers, hospitals, and relief camps in flood-affected areas.

 

Dr. JP appealed to VIPs as also ordinary people to refrain from visiting the flood-hit areas as such visitations would merely disrupt and delay rescue and relief operations. Only relief workers and transport vehicles carrying relief material should be encouraged to move freely.

 

Dr. JP pointed out that the heavy flood in the Krishna river was unprecedented and sudden. Blaming officials and the Government for the natural calamity beyond anybody’s control was unwarranted. People who criticize officials of having failed to deplete the Srisailam dam in hindsight now conveniently forget that the State had gone through the drought or deal only a couple of months ago. Again, would the depletion of a few lakh cusecs of water in the short time available to officials warded off the danger against the unprecedented inflows into the reservoir? He underlined the fact that Kurnool was inundated because of heavy flows from the Tungabhadra and the Handri and the situation had eased once thee flows abated, despite the water level rising in Srisailam from 887 feet to 894 feet overnight. He said that people heed Government warnings and move to safer places as Kurnool town as also people downstream of the river in Krishna and Guntur districts were still not out of dangers in the context of continuing inflows into the river from upstream and heavy rains within the State.

 

Dr. JP said there was the danger of the State facing a grave power crisis with flood waters disrupting power generation at Srisailam, Nagarjunasagar and Vijayawada thermal power station. It is now clear that the Right Bank Power Station at Srisailam will be submerged and out of commission for several weeks. People are also exposed to the risk of consuming contaminated and unsafe drinking water and falling ill. He wanted the Government to be ready with a contingency plan to meet the likely power crisis and suggested establishment of water purification plants and supply of water purification tablets and ‘PUR’ sachets of UNICEF to the affected people. He suggested supply of satellite telephones to key offices and functionaries because telecommunications had failed either because of floods or heavy traffic.

 

Once the floods receded the Government should focus on constructing ring bunds to tanks and restoration of roads, shedding its penchant for sanctioning lucrative and costly projects.

 

Dr. JP appealed to people to realize that employees are also human beings and they needed all the support from them. The Government should deploy officials from neighboring districts to the flood-affected districts and relieve the burden on overworked staff. If some officials do not measure up to expectations they could be quietly replaced.

 

Dr. JP expressed satisfaction over Chief Minister K. Rosaiah giving a free hand to district officials to handle the crisis. District officials could efficiently handle the problems in the wake of floods if there is no interference from publicity-hungry politicians. The bane of administration hitherto had been centralized rule by individuals. As a result, lower rung officials were always beholden to the top to take even small decisions. Given freedom and spared of interference, officials could deliver results.

 

Lok Satta has established a helpline Ph: 040-40405050 to coordinate voluntary efforts of varios organizations. Lok Satta suggested to the government and Relief Commissioner to dedicate one official to liaise with voluntary organizations. Lok Satta volunteers will man the helpline 040-40405050 round the clock. Those who wish to support relief operations may please contact the helpline, so that the Lok Satta team can coordinate the voluntary efforts and ensure that the needed supplies go to the needy people inan orderly manner.

 

A team comprising of Sri Anand Reddy, Sri AS Gurappa (Retd. IPS), Smt Sirisha, Sri Madhav, Sri Krishna Prasad and Sri Karthik has been constituted by Lok Satta to coordinate relief efforts.