BJP turns up the heat on the Congress government in Madhya Pradesh, asks CM Kamal Nath to prove majority

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  • Sensex above 39300 and Nifty crosses 11800 as investors get richer by Rs 5.33 lakhs in a day as punters are buoyed by the exit poll predictions
  • After hectic parleys in Delhi, Chandrababu Naidu visits Kolkata to sound out Mamata Banerjee in case there is a hung parliament
  • Mamata Banerjee says exit polls are "gossip" and the Centre will manipulate EVMs
  • Exit polls predict between 11 and 16 seats for the BJP in West Bengal
  • Congress says exit polls are bunkum, the country is in for a surprise on May 23rd
  • Exit polls predict clear majority for NDA
  • Congress says it will not insist on the PM's post if opposition gets close to the half-way mark
  • Pragya Thakur says Godse was a patriot, retracts after rebuke from party
  • Modi offer to rebuild Vidyasagar statue in Kolkata, Mamata rejects offer, saying BJP alms are not required
  • Delhi HC says #MeToo can't be allowed to become a "sullying you too" campaign.
  • National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC) says homebuyers can seek refund if flat is delayed by more than one year
  • AFSPA might be lifted in Assam
  • Two climbers missing and two critical from an expedition tp scale Mount Kanchenjunga
  • Monsoon likely to be delayed by 5 days, to arrive on June 6
  • Supreme Court questions Bengal government over the delay in releasing BJP activist who posted a morphed image of Mamata Banerjee on her FB page
fani
Cyclone Fani: Responding To Nature’s Fury

By Sunil Garodia

About the Author

Sunil Garodia Editor-in-Chief of indiacommentary.com. Current Affairs analyst and political commentator. Writes for a number of publications.

Cyclone Fani expectedly made landfall at Puri in Odisha on Friday. Although it left destruction in its wake, it also showed how India has moved ahead in its disaster management efforts. The cyclone lost its sting while approaching the coast – wind speeds were expected to touch 200-225 kmph but in the end, lashed the coastline at only 150 kmph. But that, along with heavy rain, was bad enough to uproot trees, electric poles and cause extensive damage to kuccha houses in Puri district and other coastal areas of Odisha. The houses of the SP and DM of the worst affected district were also badly damaged.

But if one compares the damage done by the super cyclone in 1999, when more than 10000 people were killed and the countryside was devastated, India has faced Fani with much better preparedness. Only 6 people (8, according to some reports) were reported dead and just 160 were admitted in hospitals for cyclone-related injuries. The new regional hurricane model of the Indian Meteorological Department could track the cyclone with pinpoint accuracy and predict the landfall and the movement of the cyclone much in advance. This allowed the Centre and the state government to galvanize the local administration and the disaster management teams, including 65 National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) teams to put their best foot forward in Odisha, Andhra Pradesh and West Bengal.

More than 12 lakh people were evacuated in the three states from coastal areas that were likely to be most affected. Casualties at sea were prevented through repeated warnings and enough storm shelters were provided. Teams have been deputed for road clearance to keep relief work going in case of blocks due to falling trees and poles. Dry food is being rushed in to help the local people and there is a special emphasis on maintaining law and order. The army has also been kept ready in the three states to help the civil administration in case of an emergency. The weakened cyclone has now moved to West Bengal with wind speeds of 90-100 kmph.

The focus must now shift to relief and rescue. The devastation caused by nature needs to be attended to and the damage needs to be repaired. The poor, as always, will bear the brunt of nature’s fury. Their houses need to be rebuilt and they need to be provided with shelter, food and help till they go back to leading their normal working lives. The Centre has already released Rs 1000cr to the affected states for this. Now the local administration and the NGOs must swing into action to reduce the misery the people are going to face.