Dehradun: Uttarakhand, an abode blessed with Himalayan peaks, glaciers and dense forests and referred as Land of Gods (Devbhoomi) has transformed into a 'land of disaster'. Each year hundreds of locals fall victim to natural disasters in the hill state.

Extreme climatic condition like torrential rainfall, cloud burst, snowfall and disasters like landslides claim hundreds of lives and pose a constant threat to human habitat.

The sorry state of affairs in Uttarakhand can be gauged from the fact that from 2008 to present, frequent incidences of natural disasters have claimed over 500 lives and have left 348 others injured.

During the monsoon session from June to September, Uttarakhand witnesses extreme vagaries of weather, giving tough time to the locals.

The condition becomes even worse when landslides and rainfall wreck havoc, leaving thousands of people homeless. From 2008 as many as 1,761 houses collapsed and many are lying in a deplorable condition after facing the natural adversity.

In addition, large scale agriculture lands have been ruined during the aforesaid period, affecting thousands of lives residing in rural areas.  Ironically, in the absence of proper disaster management, villagers are made to bear the brunt.

Undoubtedly, humans have no control over natural calamity, but the probability of reducing the disaster can be handled.

To take control over the adverse condition, Ministry of Disaster Management exists in the state. However, the lackadaisical approach of ministry towards implementation of important aspects of disaster prevention, mitigation and preparedness has been exposed on several occasions.

“Concrete steps are being taken to handle disaster in the state. Training on mitigation and prevention of disaster is being provided to the villagers. So far, 100 training sessions have been conducted where 2,500 locals were made to learn the measures to tackle mishap," said Executive Director, Disaster Mitigation and Management Centre, Uttarakhand, Dr Peeyush Rataul.

Rataul further said, “Soon a team of 25 trained members will be appointed at Panchayat level. They will be provided with equipments to train the villagers. Besides, the police and administration team will get the equipments to tackle the catastrophe."

JPN/Bureau