Excess of everything is bad. Water is an indispensable need for life to flourish. However, when it is received in excessive amount, the consequences are disastrous. The state of Uttar Pradesh is endowed with bountiful water resources which were considered abundant. However, annual monsoon witnesses floods which force many to flee, as rivers burst their banks and torrents of water wash away homes, causing loss of life; sparking outbreaks of water-borne diseases; the damage to property including standing crops is incalculable. The incessant rains cause burgeoning rivers to overflow and embankments to breach. Rivers like Ghagra, Saryu, Ganga, Rapti, Ramganga, Yamuna and Sharda act as deluge producers. Flooding is the only major natural hazard that occurs with an unfailing regularity.
During the flood in 2010, when it was wreaking havoc and the rivers were in spate; the then Chief Minister Ms. Mayawati conducted aerial survey of flood hit districts while the officials were instructed to continue relief and rescue works on a war footing and to take pre-emptive steps in dealing with the post-flood issues. The marooned people were assured that the paucity of funds would not be an impediment in the relief work. Samajwadi Party charged the government with lax attitude in dealing with the flood situation in the state. They called the handling of flood relief to be inhuman and insensitive. The affected population could not receive adequate assistance and food packets. In 2011, according to BJP; the BSP government was apathetic to the woes of the sufferers and did not make adequate arrangements for rescue and relief operations.
The Ganga Expressway is also deemed to provide a flood control embankment, the construction of which was initiated by Mayawati in 2007. Though there existed splendid strategies, their pathetic implementation due to the irresponsible attitude of the officials during the Mayawati regime, led to overall discontent in the hearts of the people. The promises made went unfulfilled and the hopes and beliefs of the common man lay shattered.
The 2012 assembly elections in U.P. brought staggering victory to SP. Akhilesh Yadav, party’s chief campaigner in the state, brought in many changes in the governance. He ordered probe into large scale irregularities in the purchase of ‘EC/GEO bags’, conveying displeasure on BSP’s flood control measures. Suspension and replacement of the inefficient officers from various departments is also in the process. District Lakhimpur Kheri, which is ravaged by floods almost every year, is being paid special attention to as a part of the fulfilment of his election promise. The new CM announced a package of Rs. 1.8 billion for the flood relief measures and ordered resumption of various flood control projects in the district as well as the removal of excess silt in Sharda River before the onset of rainy season. Yadav also sanctioned funds for various other developing projects including the embankment of the river Sharda and decided to purchase five steamers to strengthen relief work during floods. An aerial survey along with the irrigation minister Shivpal Singh Yadav was also a part of CM’s visit. The CM also directed the district officials that with two months still left for monsoons, the flood control works should be completed in time. In a bid to properly address problems faced by people, he would meet public representatives at his official residence every Tuesday.
The so-called leaders of our nation merely exercise the frivolous practice of blaming each other, supporting an adage: “Success has many fathers, however failure is an orphan”. The denizens of Uttar Pradesh have seen since long past, the state being exploited as an epicentre of the national politics. Now, it’s time to wait and watch the youngest CM in the history of the state, how effectively he fulfils the dreams of the many, how justly he stands on the beliefs and how well does he prove himself to be really a beacon of hope.