Philanthropic Punjabis contributes in providing food to flood victims in J&K
FLOOD CALAMITIES IN PUNJAB though focused less than J&K but these are desirable to be seen in continuity for its last 10 major Flood havoc in four decades, contributing highest magnitude of Economic bearing & loss of humanity than to be looking exclusively to J&K difficulties, allegedly anchored with political angles blaming state Governance & ignoring own Delhi weather forecasting mechanism!
The J&K Flood conditions are pictured to be most grim since last history for 60 years. The human loss as on 12th September 2014 was referred to be above 250 apart from unaccounted loss in economics, housing or building infrastructures. The boat shaped land location crises surrounded by valleys lived for day to day life & inhabitants from generation to generations never viewed future risk of Jhelum River. A certain parts of India, particularly positioned around central India & for Maharashtra, Gujarat, and Bihar are generally vocal in their expressions for political connectivity of the state with India and leaderships invariably incited respective public for desired political mileage out of such slogan shouts from their street managed dramatic acts. Most of them are yet to display honest sympathetic ground actions for J&K crises. The neighborhood states generally are found to be reliable & friendly help. The Army commander for the J&K approached S.G.P.C. for production of FOOD to be supplied to large numbers flood affected families of J&K. The S.G.P.C. has consented and supplies have been resumed on the lines of welfare of humanity particularly when they encounter natural crises.
Punjab encountered Flooding situations intermittently and experienced more than 10 major Flood loss conditions during last about 40 years, hence loss every alternative four years. No two adversities are desired to be compared but these simply refresh memories for the losses suffered. The Environmental system operators for G.O. India again failed to bring out information on preventive arrangements despite so much scientific instrumentation at their disposal to minimize major threats of nature’s fury. The current year 2014 has brought many areas of Punjab under similar Flood damage conditions causing major economic & human loss to the natives of the state.
Media earlier brought out miseries of Punjab particularly for farming community on account of manmade insensitivity & insincerity further complicated by nature’s fury when B.B.M.B. had plans to celebrate 25th anniversary and inviting Mr Rajiv Gandhi, the than P.M. They started water conversations to highest levels as per old practice to generate higher energies compromising many S.O.P safety guidelines. Many believed that damage by release of water was at the instance of P.M. secretariat. BBMB had weather forecast that rains in Sept 1988 are likely to be 18% short of last period and targeted higher water storage. The rainfall contrary to forecast was abnormal and B.B.M.B. opened flood gates in the middle of night of Sept/Oct 1988 without preventive warning measures to the Punjab Administration. The pro active D.C. in one of the districts for Punjab, i.e. for Ropar, Mr J.R. Kundal woke up around 11 pm to call district Heads suggesting them to come to his residence irrespective to driver facility available or not. Many officers drove down their own vehicles and were briefed that B.B.M.B. had released water without adequate warning time & they may not be able to do much but wished to connect rural folk for moral support with possible guidance on safety measures. The whole night was spent by officers from village to village providing information and moral support to them. The majority absence now for administrative apparatus in J&K Flooding may not turn out to be justified. All of them may not be floating to save their lives. The civil servants are trained how to help public in Flood or conditions of calamities but most of they reportedly eloped.
“India TODAY” in their write up for 31st Oct 1988, had sub title “Floods reverse crop prospects in Punjab.”The report conveyed that 75 to 80 per cent of kharif crop in the fertile districts of Jallandhar, Amritsar, Gurdaspur, Ferozepur and Kapurthala stood lost and about 1,500 people killed due to floods and another 500 were listed missing. The chairman BBMB blamed the meteorological department for not forewarning on the degree & quantum of rainfall. The meteorological office had bungled badly, when their forecast for entire month of September, predicted only 121 mm of rainfall and it’s Director-General in a signed statement declared that rainfall in Sept 2008 was likely to be deficient by 18 per cent. The authorities at the two dams were thus expecting just 100 mm of rain, but in just four days, between September 23 and 26, the Bhakra area recorded a staggering 640 mm of rainfall and Pong 644 mm. In fact, on September 26, Bhakra received 85 mm of rain in just 45 minutes against the New Delhi weathermen prediction for the entire month.
Almost Ten-foot high cascades of water from the two reservoirs washed way entire villages within hours. Roads and bridges were inundated. The entire communications network in the state was snapped. The link road system disappeared under a sea of water. Wireless was the only means of communication between Chandigarh, the state capital and the districts while the affected villages could be reached only by helicopters and the army’s motorized boats. The 9000 out of Punjab’s 12,989 villages were flooded; of which over 2,500 were completely marooned or simply washed away in 1988.The deluge disrupted the lives of over 34 lack people. When disaster struck, it appeared as if Punjab would be washed away by the very rivers after which the state is named.
The people of the state were trying to cope with new miseries after 1984 disasters, the than Union Agriculture Minister Mr Bhajan Lal, considered by many as enemy personality for interests of Punjab, struck an incongruous note when he declared that the floods were a blessing in disguise. He later tried to cover his (hate sentiments) statement expressing that his logics were that Floods would increase Punjab’s ground water level. Preliminary estimates put the losses incurred by the agricultural sector in 1988 at around Rs. 500 crore. The than Governor Mr Siddhartha Shankar Ray, a Bengali Barrister but foreigner kind of variety for Punjab, further dashed down hope for the Punjabis-farmers when he declared: “We cannot compensate for such enormous losses; all we can do is to provide relief to the affected people.” The reality part in story was not shortage of funds but they had no emotional connectivity on difficulties for state subjects. Indian Government had moral obligation to arrange compensation higher than this estimates by fixing B.B.M.B. responsible party & revenues got generated from them for such eventualities to compensate sufferers. The humanity living in Bengal, Haryana, Delhi or others locations are now identical to British foreigners who when in Governance representing Delhi may in rarest of rare case are humanly sympathetic solving difficulties of Punjabis but most state subjects continuously fail to understand political mechanism of them.
The divided Punjab on many lines is never jealous or protest beyond a point weather adequately compensated or not at par with other states for financial support for normal circumstances or times of adversities. The seat of Governance for Delhi is otherwise seen in the eyes of parental position and heads are not expected to discriminate to the extent it has been doing so since 1947. The maiden actions for the present central Government conveyed continuity of past biased cultures and rather going a step further to deny legitimate support under federal system obligations. They intentionally planted information that Punjab has been given adequate funds in last five years but did not divulge comparative data for identical help provided to neighboring states of Punjab. The loss in J&K is now is larger than Punjab but none in the Central Ministry has sagacity to plan tour to see Flood conditions of the state. The childish kind of behavioral statements that,” The F.M. or the C.M. of the state has not drafted proper representation for the needs of Punjab” voiced by a B.J.P. Minister do not speak healthy of them.
The media disclosures to public on missive to Punjab state by worthy F.M.-G.O.I may not have added victory feather to his August chair, rather future history & discussions may connect his personality that he cultivated biased approach for the state subjects. He may have pleased his leader or colleagues in cabinet that he don’t care for old friend of B.J.P. stalwart in Srd P.S. Badal or his team but when one finger directed towards them, meaning for inward four reflect his inner personality that he is trying to punish state for not having elected him to the Parliament. Many in Punjab believe that had the AMRITSAR selected him, the major credit may have been posted to wave for Mr Modi and conduct towards Punjab may not have been very different than being displayed on the walls. Punjab knows how to live to the grace of Waheguru despite Physical/ Psychological/Economical conspiracies against its subjects on the name of religion or otherwise by so many inside & outside invaders but survived for faith in Almighty while Punjab believing ,” – Jis ka Sahib Dahhdah hoveh – Tis noo mar nai sakke koi”. Delhi under none Congress Governance can reap higher advantage by taking along collective Punjab than to bring in congress model cleverness to browbeat. Path laid by guides in spirituality and Guru Sahib may simply be re-laid on lines with historical prospectus. New Delhi in present context needs to display similar concern for Punjab Flood calamities in the spirit for neighborhood, being historical shield of India!
Kulwant Kaur Sandhu , Ex Member Punjab Heritage & Education Foundation. Email : firstname.lastname@example.org