Thursday, February 21, 2008

An anomaly corrected least for the time being

Reproduced below is an extract of STH post on 11Dec2007 ( Letter to the Chief Minister, West Bengal)

1. Necessity of correcting an anomaly

It was apparent from our meeting with some state Govt officials, that in Darjeeling District, both the State Govt and DGHC (Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council) were jointly in charge of disaster management. We were informed, that prevention of disaster was NOT the responsibility of the District Magistrate since many of the departments concerned with preventive work were not under him (but were under the Principal Secretary, DGHC)

This is contrary to the Disaster Management Act 2005 Chapter IV (District Disaster Management Authority) Para 30 (Powers and Functions of District Authority) and needs to be addressed immediately.

MOST IMPORTANTLY: - A single nodal body may be identified in the district which is empowered to take ALL necessary action to deal with natural disaster in its entirety.

Here is an extract from today's Telegraph:-

Council top post for DM

Darjeeling, Feb. 20: The Bengal government today appointed the Darjeeling district magistrate as the interim principal secretary of the Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council (DGHC) even as the hills remained shut on the first day of the indefinite bandh called by the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha.

The tenure of incumbent principal secretary of the DGHC, D.T. Tamlong, came to an end yesterday following which the district magistrate was asked to take charge of the council for the first time since it was formed 20 years ago.

Although bureaucrats have always headed the council, this is the first time that an IAS officer in charge of the district administration has been told to look after a parallel administration.

“I received the government order today,” said Rajesh Pandey, the district magistrate of Darjeeling.


What this will (hopefully) mean, at least for the time being, is that disaster management (both the preventive and post disaster aspects) will come under one man ie the DM...
Looking at this development from the narrow perspective of landslide prevention, well, I for one am happy about the change!
Meanwhile we are living thru extraordinary times in the hills...much more of that story can be gleaned from, www. and

praful rao

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