Letters

The Kerala deluge

| Updated on August 20, 2018 Published on August 20, 2018

The full scale of the deluge in Kerala is yet to be fully comprehended. It is certainly far greater in magnitude than we learn from exhaustive media coverage.

There was no place in the scenic strip of dense population between the Western Ghats and the Arabian Sea which has not been inundated by floodwaters.

It is a humanitarian catastrophe of enormous proportions that calls for collective aid to help out. It is baffling that the Centre has chosen not to declare the devastating deluge a ‘national calamity’.

For nearly a fortnight the people of Kerala have lived under the shadow of death. Rescue workers, especially fishermen and armed forces personnel — army, navy IAF and NDRF — have worked round the clock under very difficult and dangerous conditions to evacuate the flood victims. I tip my hat to them.

The floodwaters have now receded. The task of rushing in relief supplies — food, drinking water and medicines — and preventing the spread of diseases must now get priority. Kerala should be able to count on the rest of the world when they make attempts to rebuild the shattered post-flood economy.

G David Milton

Maruthancode (TN)

The recent deluge in Kerala and Kodagu owing to incessant rainfall has thrown up huge challenge for the man against the nature. The construction of a dam and its consequences owing to rain in the low lying areas/towns in Kerala which remain submerged is heart wrenching.

The lack of preparedness despite rainfall occurring from past few weeks raises questions on how quick we are to respond to emergency.

Further social media also helped in the rescue operations. One must thank the efforts of the armed forces, , Coast Guard, volunteers, and the media for extensive coverage.

Rescue operations are hit by lack of availability of helicopters, airstrips and greenfield airports and rescue aircraft. The presence of the only nearby civil airport at Cochin was shut and it took three days for the authorities to use the INS Naval Air base to operate only ATR type aircraft.

It is high time that the Ministry of Civil Aviation, the AAI and DGCA and Defence Ministry officials to identify non-civilian air bases across the country and make suitable arrangements to enable wide bodied civilian/ passenger aircraft like Airbus and Boeing to land in emergency and rescue scenarios. Such an audit will immensely help to expedite rescue operations for the army personnel and also enable to quickly dispatch relief material and attend to medical emergencies.

Further the Aviation Ministry should intensify its efforts to open up new greenfield airports and expand UDAAN scheme — as such a move will enable rescue and military aircraft to land in case of calamities.

Varun

Bengaluru

 

E-comm regulation

With reference to ‘Don't stifle e-comm with excessive regulation’ (August 20), we have online marketplace for everything.

We are truly living in a dynamic environment where things are evolving very fast. I endorse the writer’s views that our policy makers need to support this ecosystem as it is helping the economy and creating jobs.

Tightening too much can only hit growth. The consumer’s interests should be protected at all cost and no monopoly should be allowed. Designing proper policy framework for the clarity of SMEs and e-commerce is need of the hour and will help these start-ups grow holistically.

Bal Govind

Noida

 

Growth pangs

This refers to the claim made by former Finance Minister P Chidambaram that the UPA-1 and UPA-2 governments delivered the highest decadel growth since independence. The former Finance Minister does not realise that the decadal growth would have improved the living conditions of the common people immensely and should have helped the UPA win a third term. However, the electoral results were not in favour of the UPA.

The government has also stated that ‘10% growth estimate under UPA is not official data’ (August 20). The former Finance Minister should take note of that.

TR Anandan

Coimbatore

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Published on August 20, 2018
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