‘Earthquake Tourism’ is fine but what happened to the distribution of relief material to the needy and poor in Doda
Between May 1 and June 9 a large army of political leaders from both the centre and the state have visited the quake hit areas of erstwhile Doda district but till date the poor and the needy survivors are waiting for the distribution of relief material.
An earthquake measuring 5.8 on the Richter scale jolted the Doda region in which 3 people were killed, over 70 were injured and at least over 70,000 structures including large number of govt school buildings and health centres suffered damages. Ironically, till date the state and the centre govt have failed to reach out to the people on ground zero.
Initially, Union Health Minister Ghulam Nab Azad took interest and activated the entire state govt machinery to make actual loss assessment and also brought Deputy Chairman of the National Disaster Management Control Authority on the spot to expedite rehabilitation and rescue operations.The team members also briefed PMO in New Delhi before the relief package was finalised.
Following in the foot prints of Ghulam Nabi Azad, the leaders of the alliance partners in the state also sniffed an opportunity to play politics and sent packing several teams of state cabinet ministers to monitor the relief work.
At party level the leaders of the National Conference and Congress party also made an extra effort and reached out to the affected populace to register their presence but empty handed.
Interestingly, in order to establish upmanship the leaders of the congress and National Conference locked horns over the quantum of relief package.
To counter the propaganda of the Congress party the state cabinet headed by Chief Minister Omar Abdullah demanded a relief package to the tune of 607 crores. At the same time the leaders of the alliance partners washed their dirty linen in public while the earthquake victims kept waiting for the relief.
When the National Conference leaders were camping in the quake hit areas they raised question marks over the delay caused by the centre to sent relief material.
The same National Conference leaders spared little effort to question their own chief ministers role in crisis time. Before the centre came in to the picture the state govt could not get its act together and reach out to the affected population in the hour of need.
The quake hit people were also told that Congress vice president would also visit the quake hit areas but brutal Maoist attack in Bastar area of Chhatisgarh forced him to reschedule his visit. Till date his programme has not been finalised.
At present, after spending sleepless nights outside their homes in temporary shelters the large percentage of local residents have went back in the absence of any alternatives but till date no one has a real answer as to when the real relief and rehabilitation would begin so that people can kick start their lives one again and bring it on track.