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Rising as one@@Raj Chengappa's article “Time to rise as a nation in aid of the disaster hit” (Ground Zero; Sunday Tribune, September 14) portrays the picture of the disaster that struck Srinagar. Prime Minister Modi's quick response and the Army’s daring rescue operations are indeed laudable. But the pertinent question is: Shall we as a nation, ever think of preventing such disasters? Perhaps there is political reason in resorting to short-term cures, which give conspicuous results within the tenure of the party in power while preventive programmes may take long years. If we have to progress, we have to undertake long-term planning in the national interest, rising above party lines. Had successive governments of J&K checked the haphazard construction in catchment areas, the disaster would not have been so severe. This applies to every state because no state in India is immune to natural disasters.@@LR Sharma, Sundernagar @@@@II@@Nature’s fury apart, increased technological development and man’s greed and materialism have triggered unprecedented disaster in J&K. The Army, Air Force and NDRF personnel deserve special thanks for speedy relief and rescue operations. Modi’s laudable gesture has struck an emotional chord with the affected people. Let us emulate the Prime Minister. The state government should educate people against environmental abuse, check illegal urbanisation along river banks and hills, and ensure adequate emergency management system to face any catastrophe in future. @@DS Kang, Hoshiarpur@@@@III@@The state and Central governments are doing a good job of rescue and relief measures. The general public, NGOs, trusts and religious bodies are donating wholeheartedly and helping victims. But why do we always wait for disaster and loss of valuable lives to start action? If unplanned urbanisation and illegal constructions are the established causes for natural calamities, why are we not working against these? Instead of spending crores on reconstruction and rebuilding, a mechanism must be established to check manmade disasters. Government agencies should be made accountable for illegal construction and encroachments. @@HS Chahal Patiala@@@@IV@@The natural beauty of J&K was submerged by the overflowing Jhelum. The prime task at hand now is to rehabilitate, medicate and feed the people who are rendered homeless and have been shifted to safer places. The Army, Air Force and NDRF have done a brilliant, professional and untiring job to save the people of the state. Governments, NGOs, voluntary organisations, religious bodies, business houses, individuals and students must contribute to help rebuild Kashmir in this tragic hour. The defence forces of India have won the hearts of the Kashmiris and proved that they are as human as they are soldiers. @@Wg Cdr Jasbir Singh Minhas (retd), Mohali

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