Kochi: The Kerala State Disa-ster Management Autho-rity (KSDMA) is fast becoming a ‘laughing stock’ due to its blanket warnings based on a ‘cut and paste’ job culling information from the Indian Meteorological Department or Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services (Incois) and other institutes without having any expertise for managing or mitigating disaster.
The warning issued by KSDMA on Thursday has been cited as an example of the Authority issuing a blanket alert without making any attempt for a discerning reading of the IMD and Incois alerts on what could be the possible fallout from depression in the Indian Ocean.
“It is a ‘cut and paste disaster’ that we are facing,” said a person in a comment on Weather and Beyond, a WhatsApp discussion group comprising professionals, mediapersons and others.
Experts have also pointed out that the authority is not having any inclination to go beyond cautioning the people and placing the entire responsibility of escaping from a disaster fully on them. The warning is silent on issues such as extensive network of shelters and extent of risks in most vulnerable areas.
KSDMA member secretary Sekhar Kuriakose dismissed the criticism and said the authority is issuing alerts based on national, international and state-level protocols approved by the competent authorities. “We are following a standard format and there cannot be any deviation from it,” he said.
The KSDMA is functioning basically as a risk transferring agency than a disaster management authority, said a climate scientist based in Kochi who declined to reveal the identity. Apart from repeating the warnings issued by the IMD or INCOIS the KSDMA is not known for making any value-added inputs with local specifications having an impact on the ground-level situation, he added. Dr K.G. Thara, a former senior official of KSDMA, said the authority is having a standard format for warning which they use for all disasters. The authority has not shown any inclination to grow beyond issuing the statutory warnings, she said.
Dr. Kuriakose brushed aside these charges and said KSDMA cannot employ a language suitable for every individual situation. Certain people may find it funny that KSDMA is repeating the warning that people should not park their vehicles close to trees or avoid driving to high ranges based on weather inputs and risk assessment, he said. “We have no option but to repeat such warnings”, he said....