Subhas Chandra Pattanayak
Orissa’s senior most active politician and Leader of Opposition Sri Janaki Ballav Pattanaik has asked Chief Minister Navin Patnaik not to continue misrule but to quit office, as it is clear that lack of sense of responsibility on his part has pushed the peoples of Orissa into the labyrinth of current catastrophic calamity of flood coupled with chaos and confusion in relief operation, which has multiplied the misery of the victims by hundreds of times.
Echoing expert observations that failure to honor the curve rule in force in management of Hirakud Reservoir level has caused the catastrophe, J.B. alleged on September 28 that Navin is a political fluff, who doesn’t know how to safeguard peoples’ interest vis-à-vis a recalcitrant set-up of bureaucracy. As a result, a pattern of administration – incompetent and corrupt – has raised its ugly head in Orissa culminating into perishing of peoples in man-made floods like the present one.
Despite being the minister in charge, he neither has studied the Hirakud water level maintenance formulation nor has ever monitored the water management on the officially adopted matrix as a result of which there was no compulsion for the executive to put priority on the flood control cushion the dam was equipped with and eventually as more water than the permissible storage had accumulated on the reservoir rendering it practically impossible to retain any further, the area authorities were compelled to open up as many as 46 gates surging out unprecedented flow into the already swelled delta system precipitating the devastation, he alleged.
Citing the Phulapal breach on the southern embankment of river Bhargavi as an instance, J.B. alleged that when this particular embankment has not been treated with a single bucket of dressing towards its maintenance during the decade, the cause of breach on other embankments could safely be attributed to the same pattern of negligence.
The current man-made deluge is so devastative that an incompetent and misleading person like Navin may make the situation bleaker if he remains in power to mishandle the post-flood restoration works. So, he should quit, J.B. quipped.