Saturday, December 24, 2011

Flood finger-pointing in India

IBN Live (India): The controversy over September floods refuses to die down. The issue resurfaced in the Assembly on Thursday with the Congress claiming them man-made and the State Government blaming the climate change. The back-to-back floods played havoc taking at least 87 lives. A dissatisfied Congress staged a walkout in the House.

During an adjournment debate, Congress Chief Whip Prasad Harichandan alleged that the Government let them happen in view of the panchayat elections. "The 2008 flood had paid rich dividend to the BJD in the general elections in 2009."

The Government created the floods in September to woo people by distributing relief, he charged. Taking the allegation further, Leader of Opposition Bhupinder Singh claimed that the Government had admitted on October 29 that it created the floods. “Over the years we have created and managed many disasters,” Singh quoted Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik.

Though the Chief Minister’s Office had subsequently clarified that it was a slip of tongue, Singh said neither the CM nor the Government has issued any clarification.

BJP member Jaynarayan Mishra also termed the floods man-made. “We claim that the floods are man-made as the Government did not take any preventive measures to avoid them."

However, Revenue and Disaster Management Minister S N Patro strongly defended the Government. “The floods were an impact of the climate change at global level. The change is certainly man-made, not the floods,” Patro countered the charge....

Rescue operation of NDRF during the 2008 Kosi Floods, shot by Kumarrakajee, Wikimedia Commons, under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license

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