We have to discover options to such pure disasters on nationwide scale: former Uttarakhand CM Harish Rawat

Today News Online Service 

Ghazipur, February 7

Former Uttarakhand Chief Minister Harish Rawat said on Sunday that it was important to find solutions to these disasters on a “national scale”.

Rawat, who was in Ghazipur to show his solidarity with the ongoing farmers’ protest, said:  “What happened today is tragic. Those who are still missing are hopefully found to be safe and get rescued”.

He said it was important to find a way to deal with natural disasters.  

 “Natural disasters happen but what you do to react is the most important aspect during such times… Uttarakhand faced a bigger disaster in 2013 when 60-70 per cent of places were destroyed. We fought it and a new and stronger Uttarakhand came out from that tragedy. And we will recover from this latest tragedy as well,” he said. “But we need to find solutions for these disasters at a national scale,” he added.

Over 120 people still remain missing after a glacier at Nanda Devi broke off in Chamouli in Uttarakhand, c triggering an avalanche and a deluge in the Alaknanda river system. The flood washed away hydroelectric stations and trapped more than 100 labourers.

Those missing are feared dead. Rescuers have so far found 10 bodies.

The disaster brought back memories of flood caused by cloud burst in Kedaranath in 2013 that killed over 5,000 people and left lakhs stranded.

Rawat, meanwhile,  brought the soil, water and plants from Uttarakhand to show solidarity with farmers.

“Rakesh Tikaitji had called that farmers will plant flowers and plants on those places where they (Govt) have put nails. And today Uttarakhand has sent its soil, water and plants,” he said.

The former CM, who is also the front runner to lead the Congress in the 2022 state elections, said he had yet to speak to his successor, the current Chief Minister of Uttarakhand Trivendra Singh Rawat, after Sunday’s tragedy.

 “I have not spoken to the current CM but I think he and his officials together must be busy overseeing rescue and relief efforts. When I handed over the reins by then we had constituted four battalions of SDRF, which were made on the lines of NDRF and I think they are doing great work,” he said.

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