I wish to draw your attention to our article-Pilgrims plead to SMVDSB- published on 21 Nov 2021 in Sunday Magazine of Daily Excelsior.
The conditions were pathetic that day also.There was a total chaos. The situation was as if no administration existed. There was no one to control /channelise the crowd. Same thing would have happened that day had some of us not taken initiative to control the situation. After the article was published, we received a response from SMVDSB officials.They promised remedial measures will be taken.It was very nice of them to have responded and accepted there existed shortcoming.We were glad things will improve.
Unfortunately the tragedy tells some different story. Gross negligence at all levels. How could such a huge number of yatris reach durbar? Why were the tickets issued?Why nobody checked enroute ? Why nobody woke up at the durbar and asked to stop yatris from proceeding ahead of Katra? Administration needs to answer all these questions and many more.
As is customary ,whenever such incident happens -ministers rush from Center to grab media headlines–creating more problems for the administration and huge inconvenience to public because VIP culture takes over all other urgencies. The politicians start playing blame game, Heads announce compensation, and committees are formed to investigate ,etc etc etc. But actually what should happen rarely happens.
There is a need to carry out critical analysis,find the defaulters,take action against defaulters.There is a need to frame strict rules/guidelines and to ensure strict compliance. There is a need to make everyone in the administration accountable and make them responsible. There is a need for checks and balances in the system .
Such a tragedy has never happened in the premises of Mata Vaishno Devi complex. And it should never happen again. Our deep heartfelt condolences are with the families who have lost their dear ones. Our prayers for the speedy recovery of those who are injured.
Sham Lal Langer and
Col Kulbhushan Gupta.