We were the first to observe that more than the lackluster operation of relief, a Judicial Commission of Inquiry is essential to fix up responsibility for the flood that devastated the State in the month of September.
And we were alone, till, taking the cue, a few days later, the Congress party moved the State Governor with a demand for an Inquiry into the cause of the flood.
Governor M. C. Bhandare called for a report from the Government that he wanted to be based on investigation by an independent committee into whether or not the water mismanagement of Hirakud dam factored the flood.
And the State Government on October 12 refused to constitute any such probe committee under assertions that the State has already a technical team headed by the Engineer-in-Chief (EIC) of water resources department that looks into implementation of the Rule Curve for the reservoir and in its opinion, there was no mismanagement of the Hirakud dam that could have caused the flood.
The answer has failed to satisfy the Governor, who has in the meantime visited various flood-hit areas and gathered victims’ views as to how the flood was avoidable had administration been careful and concerned.
To media, the Governor has given vent to his dismay and has stated that the reason of the flood needs be determined through an impartial body of investigation so that steps may be taken to save the State from recurrence of such devastation. “Any fair inquiry by an independent body is very necessary so that we take the necessary preventive measures,” he has stated.
We thank the Governor for his honest observation and maintain that the cause of the flood needs be determined through a Judicial Commission of Inquiry for fixation of responsibility on functionaries whose negligence to and mismanagement of the river system has done the devastative damage to our people that can never be recovered.
As we have said, the culprits need punishment, not leniency.