Friday, June 5, 2009

Coordination finally & a little love on World Environment Day

Am again just spreading the updates from Asit Biswas, of Help Tourism... there are some interesting reads below, a wave a relief as special task forces seems to have a sembling of order in the relief operations and some coordination, stark drinking water shortages putting it back in our heads how acute the crisis is, and a little show of love by a village who rescued a banded krait taking refuge in their house.

Read on.

Cyclone Aila 2009/Update/Sunderbans, India.

Dear Friends,

1. The Indian Army has already started sending special task force to Sunderbans. The special rescue, relief and medical teams from the Army reached to the Islands today to provide the much-awaited support for evacuation, relief operation and reconstruction. Common people are of the opinion that such steps should have been taken much earlier.

2. The government departments seem to have been able to establish a basic coordination concerning relief operations. Each consignment is now being sent under the joint supervision of representatives from the Police, District administration and village councils making the relief operation quite smooth and democratic.

3. The carcass of dead animals (cattle) could be removed from the rivers and many villages excepting places like Kumirmari, Choto Mollakhali, Shamshernagar. These areas are affected by the full moon tide as well. There is no report of any attempt to repair the embankments here. People are already being evacuated from Kumirmari, Choto Mollakhali, Amtoli, Lahiripur, Satjelia and Kachukhali. In the mean while Calcutta Port Trust which keeps track of the tides in Hoogly river has issued an alert saying that the next tide scheduled to hit the Islands on 22nd June would bring higher waves than the current one. The government is planning to procure a barge to extract soil from underwater to repair the embankments as there is acute shortage of clay locally. The embankments will have to brave few more tides before the proper repairing work can be started.

4. The drinking water situation continues to remain same with enteric spreading in many areas. There are contradictory figures supplied by government department and health NGOs working there as to the number of villagers suffering from the disease.

5. There remains huge confusion concerning the amount of ad-hoc compensation announced by the government for rebuilding the smashed houses in the villages. The villagers do not know how much money they will get, from whom, when and how.

6. While death follows as an obvious penalty when a snake sneaks in a house after flood sweeps away its nest and is eventually detected, the villagers of Bijayanagr 3 proved an exception by rescuing a Banded Krait today. It was trying to take shelter in Mr.Sunil Mondal’s house. They rescued the snake alive and handed over to the forest department officials. A little love made a positive difference on the World Environment Day.

For Cyclone Aila 2009 Support Group
Asit Biswas, Calcutta, India.
5th June 2009


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