Tuesday, October 15, 2013

A Tale of Two Disasters: Bureaucrats hailed for Phailin evacuation, suspended for MP stampede

Rescue, Relief in Odisha
Dr Krishan Kumar, an MBBS-turned IAS of Odisha cadre and collector of the state’s southern district of Ganjam, front-paged a national daily on Monday as he worked without sleep for about 100 hours to save lives of ordinary people who would have become preys of Cyclone Phailin that hit coastlines of Odisha and Andhra Pradesh on Saturday night. In another Indian state, Madhya Pradesh, the shaken chief minister took special permission of Election Commission of India to suspend IAS and IPS including…
Datia collector and 2007 batch IAS Sanket S Bhoindve, his junior and state civil service officer Mahip Tejaswi, superintendent of police SC Solanki, sub-divisional officer of police BN Basave among others for failing to prevent a man-made tragedy when 115 pilgrims were killed in a stampede at Ratangarh temple during the Navratra festivities on Sunday.
Also, it was announced that a judicial commission would probe the incident as some eyewitnesses accused policemen of throwing dead bodies off a bridge and even looting the devotees. The police have vehemently denied those charges.
The incident may turn out to be a setback for 34-year-old IAS Bhoindve who had earlier earned accolades for his work as assistant collector at Jhabua and collector of Ashok Nagar in the state. This 2007 batch IAS originally belongs to Maharashtra.
Meanwhile, Odisha and Andhra Pradesh officers were showered praise for their outstanding job of evacuating 9 lakh people, in what could be termed as the biggest evacuation operation in the history of independent India. On Sunday, social media sites which often indulge in neta and babu-bashing, were heaping praises on Indian bureaucrats. “Never before bureaucrats including local administrators, NDMA, IMD hailed after a disaster. Happy Dusshera. Phailin, the Raavan demolished,” BoI tweeted on Sunday evening.
Ganjam’s Krishan Kumar is however the face of many unknown bureaucrats including armed forces personnel and police constables who had faced all the troubles in evacuating people before Odisha’s coastal town of Gopalpur witnessed Phailin’s massive landfall at a speed of about 200 km per hour. Here too, scientists of Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) proved right, as some US experts predicted Phailin to see a speed of 300-km per hour during the landfall.
For the record, Krishan Kumar, 37, had earlier worked as chairman of Berhampur Development Authority and also as collector of Sundargarh and Kandhamal districts of Odisha. Kumar of 2002 batch IAS, originally hails from Haryana.

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