Safety is not an option but a necessity. Human life cannot be compromised based on financial concerns. But that is what has been happening for a long time. So much so that today, nature has hit back with a vengeance. Environmental decline is a man-made phenomenon, and this is an accepted fact which was echoed unequivocally at the historic Paris conclave of experts on climate change.
In India, Joshimath is a test case, and now some parts of Varanasi too seem to have become disaster prone. Sinking ghats along the banks of the holy Ganges are posing a risk. “Varanasi Ganga Ghats are under threat due to change in river course, tectonic activities,” says a report. Scientists in their research findings predicted impending danger to buildings along the Varanasi Ganga Ghats. Being a vast country with diverse terrains, India can have its own disaster management model that others can emulate, according to Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandavia.
Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu recently directed the development of an advance warning system to mitigate disasters and improve the response capacity system. The decision of the chief minister will go a long way in identifying the areas more prone to earthquakes and also help prepare a detailed report of landslides and sinking zones, a government spokesperson said.
What is to be understood is that the face of disaster can change from Joshimath to Jalgaon. Natural disasters like earthquakes and landslide are putting one part at risk while ghettos with age old worn-out electrical wires are perpetual fire hazards.
Disaster management begins with proper preparation and precaution in anticipation of dangers of any kind. But today, the dangers are also changing and so disaster management has become trickier than ever before.In recent times, India has seen many hospital/nursing home fires in quick succession across the country and many have fallen prey. Hospitals, nursing homes and other similar places without working condition Fire safety tools or Emergency lights and proper prescribed signage support are death chambers by themselves. Here, people are often ill and indisposed who cannot evacuate without help if a fire breaks out.
Climate change can strike any place, any time with weather patterns going awry in many parts of the world. Unseasonal rain, unexpected floods, melting glaciers and collapsing hills have become very common in recent years. Joshimath is the tip of the iceberg and many parts of India are facing the problem.