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squeezed

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The himalayan state of Uttarakhand despite adequate greenery and forest cover is reeling under acute water crisis, particularly due to the large sized dams constructed at the cost of environment and displacement of the local populace. While the Uttarakhand himalaya is the largest source of Ganga and Yamuna it’s surprising and shocking that the state itself is reeling under acute water crisis particularly during the summers which is also one of the main reason leading to the large scale influx of the people leaving their villages and thronging the cities, towns and metropolises of the country.

There is a general saying and the established fact that if the science plays with the natural flow of the rivers by constructing huge dams and blocking the uninterrupted natural flow of the river waters emnating from the Himalayan glaciers like the Alaknanda and Bhagirathi that finally meet each other at the main confluence point at Devprayag, at Garhwal, Uttarakhand to make it pious Ganges, the rivers become narrow and dry gradually as majority of its water is stored in the dam for the production of electricity. Sounds shocking that the natural rivers of Uttarakhand have been disturbed by these huge dams resulting water crisis and the environmental imbalance in the himalayan state of Uttarakhand.

A recent shocking instance of the Alaknanda river flowing uninterruptedly and seamlessly from the Himalayas and passing through Srinagar town in Garhwal Uttarakhand has lost its maximum water capacity because of the storing of the excessive water by the large sized Dam built at Srinagar, Koteshwar producing 330 megawatt of electricity. As per the latest reports pouring in, due to the excessive storing of the water of the running river, Alaknanda the same has lost its maximum water and has tremendously squeezed in shape and size with literally negligible water even during the peak winters at Srinagar, resulting in acute water shortage for lakhs of inhabitants of Srinagar Garhwal.

The shortage of water has also led to dying of aquatic creatures like fish etc in large quantity. The environmentalists are therefore badly concerned on the disturbing state of the seamless flowing river since centuries with complete water pressure and full of capacity. It may be recalled that a huge hydropower project had been constructed by the union government with the concurrence of the state government few years ago at Koteshwar, Srikot near Srinagar, Garhwal, Uttarakhand to produce 330 megawatt of electricity.

The environmentalists and the local populace had objected to the construction of this mega Dam but the authorities continued with the project which finally got completed three to four years ago. There is a huge pipeline and high capacity pumps of Garhwal Jal Sansthan installed between Srikot and Srinagar to supply adequate drinking water to the residents of the area. But due to the Alaknanda having been squeezed and subsequent water shortage, the water is not reaching the supply pumps of Jal Sansthan resulting in acute water crisis to lakhs of people of Srinagar, Garhwal.

Not only this but it has also invited people for illegal fishing on vast scale. The aquatic life of the river has also been affected by the water shortage in the river Alaknanda at Srinagar Garhwal. The authorities are now approaching the Dam management to release the water in the Alaknanda river so that the water shortage problem of Srinagar could be resolved and aquatic life of animals in the river is not affected further. In Uttarakhand about 598 large sized dams are said to be in pipeline for construction but have been prohibited by the Supreme Court of India for the time being.
SUNIL NEGI, PRESIDENT UTTARAKHAND JOURNALISTS FORUM

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SUNIL NEGI
 It sounds irritating and extremely worrisome that despite our prime minister Narendra Modi’ s best efforts to massively bring down the rates of stents used in the private and government hospitals to release the jam or squeezed heart arteries allowing the smooth flow of blood to heart chambers and saving the  cardiac patients lives’, majority of the private and high profile hospitals are still charging too high rates and harassing poor and middle class patients. Some of the  hospitals are charging the package starting from three laths or more while some 2.20 lac to start with for bypass surgeries. The point is where would the poor and lower middle class patient go? The condition of majority of the government hospitals in the capital is not good in the sense that they are over crowded and the waiting list of cardiac surgical patients is too long. By the time their turn arrives the cardiac patient for want of early surgery dies. Some of the patients of the marginalized classes are either unaware of the consequences of severe heart ailments while many compromise to lead a risky life due to non availability of requisite funds. The fact of the matter is that majority of the government hospitals all over the country are ill equipped with the facilities of cardiac surgeries, surgeons and necessary hi tech equipment s to conduct these operations. And as a result people from all over the country suffering from heart ailments throng the metropolis like Delhi, Mumbai and South for cardiac surgeries selling their properties or even seeking loans on heavy interests from the private money lenders. In Delhi’s All India Institute of Medical Sciences the waiting list is too long and takes more than a year for surgery. Hundreds of thousands of cardiac patients with their families could be seen living in bus stand shelters, Metro vicinity and the nearby parks who come to Delhi from far flung areas and states but could not go back due to paucity of funds and long wait for surgery. This overcrowding of government hospitals help the private heart institutes of Delhi and NCR who exploit the situation to their advantage and charge heavily from such distressed patients whose cardiac condition does not allow for further wait as surgery like bypass, open heart and provision of stents is required urgently keeping in view the extensive blockage of the heart arteries. The private hospital authorities have no reason to be compassionate. They want one hundred percent full payment to be  deposited either in cash or in the form of draft, failing which they take no time to turn out the patient even if he or she is dyeing or groaning with acute pain. The government of the day should seriously emphasize on building more and more high specialized hospitals that are able to treat maximum number of patients suffering from critical illnesses including conduction of heart surgeries at extremely cheaper rates so as to serve the maximum patients thronging Delhi, Mumbai and Southern India for the highly expensive surgeries in private hi tech hospitals which  are actually the privilege of the only rich and affluent these days.  The government should also exercise checks on private hospitals of Delhi and NCR stringently and ask them strongly to lower the packages of stents and heart surgeries in the near future. If need be special checks and audit of these hospital should be conducted  at regular intervals and the central and  state governments concerned should tie up with them to ensure that maximum number of poor patients requiring urgent surgeries belonging to the respective states, are taken care of, forthwith. In foreign countries it is primarily the responsibility of the state to ensure that each and every patient is taken care of , in however critical state, he or she is?  But the Delhi government in fact deserves to be complimented for its recent pro people decision under which good number of hospitals have been brought under the purview of the economically deprived people of Delhi who can get treatment and surgeries of critical illness done in several high profile private hospital provided they procure the income certificate of less than one lac rupee annual income from the area SDM on genuine grounds and submit the same along with other adequate residential proofs to the department of Arogya Nidhi under the jurisdiction of government of Delhi at a stipulated time frame. The other state governments of the country should follow suit. What do you say friends?