Flames as Guides

We need to learn from disasters like Frislan!



The extent of devastation seen in the recent  Frislan fire incident has  once again exposed our vulnerability and helplessness in  tackling  such calamities. It has also exposed the stark reality of poor, susceptible, unplanned and ugly condition of life and lifestyles which the people inhabiting the picturesque tourist spots like Pahalgam are used to, rather forced to live!  The people who have inherited  the legacy to serve  and host tourists  from all over the country, and abroad. Being en route Amaranth track they have witnessed  generations of the pilgrims and have facilitated their pilgrimage , these people of Frislan  did an exemplary  work when they offered free food, shelter and other basic  amenities to the pilgrims in 1996 in the face of unexpected  harsh weather conditions. When it could have caused huge loss of life they opened their small houses  to the stranded  pilgrims  as there  were no adequate arrangements done to tackle the unexpected, unfavorable weather  in the 1996. The Frislan fire incident  which engulfed  more than sixty structures  and within 30 minutes razed the whole village to ground, sparing not even  cattle and dogs, is an eye opener for our housing  and rural development agencies /departments along with the development authorities  who are  entrusted with  the responsibility to ensure the  proper  planning while developing new colonies and habitations; providing proper sanitation, emergency plan and  fire gaps, which in case of fire incidents or calamities can minimize the loss. Although it has been very encouraging to see people from all walks of life,  civil administration, army, and the civil society executing relief and rehabilitation measures. But  things would have been better, if  all could have come together  to build the societies and other allied infrastructure for these people who inhabit the peripheries of said tourist spots. It could have been taken as a well-meaning gesture  by these people who in fact have  given their  owned land  and other properties to the hoteliers and other handicraft  sector businessmen for  commercial  utilization; these hoteliers and other business men, as a corporate social responsibility, could have reciprocated a little  by involving themselves for the overall development of such hamlets. Our development authorities spend huge money in the name of development and upkeep of tourist spots, needed of course, but if our planners can provide hygienic and  healthy  life sustaining basic infrastructure to the people living in and around  such tourist spots  the story will be different. It will not only add to the beauty of  the said spots but also will enhance and expand the  facility to the visiting tourists as well. It will create a long term good will among  beneficiaries. We have to introspect a lot and have to start afresh for rebuilding our character of responsibility with ethics of contributing for  developing  and maintaining beautiful, serene Kashmir  where  the recognition should be for proactive approach, where  the society and the state  acknowledge the real change agents for their innovation and problem solving capacities, so that their remains little or no room for incidents like Frislan and GB Panth. And their arises no situation which can be used by different opportunists  as publicity gimmicks.
Authors works as research officer in SKICC and can be mailed at shahnawaz _786@yahoo.com

Lastupdate on : Mon, 24 Dec 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Mon, 24 Dec 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Tue, 25 Dec 2012 00:00:00 IST

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