Monday, June 8, 2009

A Comprehensive Planning involving NGOs & Govt. set up is needed to Save Sunderban

Aila Relief Work at Raidighi and Gosaba Block by Hindu Samhati Relief Team

In its extended Relief Work the Hindu Samhati (HS) Relief Team responded to the plight of local people of Aila struck areas in and around Sunderban Delta. The local HS Workers always took the initiative to send the SOS to the HS appex body and chalked out proper planning to give every possible relief to the Aila affected people in many places.

On 05th June,2009 Prosenjit Sasmal, HS Team Leader from Kolkata reached Ghatiharania to take the local volunteers to cater its Relief work at Bhasa island in Raidighi Block in South 24 Parganas. Sonali Naskar, Judhisthir Mondal and Prasanta Halder from Joynagar and Neempeeth accompanied Prosenjit for Seva Work in the villages of Bhasa island. Chida ( parched rice), molasses, medicines and bleaching powder were distributed among 1200 Aila affected people.

On 06th June Tapan Kumar Ghosh, President Hindu Samhati flagged off the HS Relief Team at Sonakhali in Basanti Block. A strength of 39 HS workers lead by Upanand Brahmachari, Prokash Das and Sujit Maity ventured towards Basanti to reach in the core area of Sunderban Delta where the plight and sufferings of Aila struck people are severe.

A launch named M.V. Abhiyatri was hired to voyage to the point at Kakmari beyond Satjelia where the human habitation is almost destroyed due to Aila storm. A full fledged cooking arrangement was made in that launch to cook Khichudi ( Rice-Pulses-Vegetable mix) for distribution among the hungry and affected people throughout the coastal line through out the voyage at relief. The local HS workers packed 1000 liters of purified drinking water for distribution as the scarcity of drinking water in this area is high. At Basanti The Public Health Engineering Deptt. and Sunderban Development Board, Govt. of West Bengal gave 2500 liters packaged water and 50 kg bleaching Powder to HS Relief Team to distribute the same among the Aila affected people. Another supply of 1000 liter of drinking water was given to HS Relief Team by the Authority of Additional District Magistrate at Gosaba Jetty point.

As soon as the cooking materials and utensils were loaded in M.V. Abhiyatri, the cooking of Khichudi was started on the deck of the launch. Perhaps no relief team did in such a way to serve fresh and hot dish to people in starvation. After a long exploration the HS Team reached Bagbagan point where 250 people were served with Khichudi, drinking water and medicines. The people from the near by embankment of Hogla river staying there at starvation were shouting to draw the attention of the Relief Team at launch.

Towards Kakmari the HS Relief Team anchored at different points at 7 no. Hetalbari (Choto Mollakhali), Rangabele Uttarbhanga, 4 no. Mitrabari (Satjelia), 10 no. Lahiripur, Lahiripur Sahebghata to serve possible relief to the awaiting people in every point for getting some relief. The tasty n hot khichudi in the right time was the most expected item as no relief team served any cooked food in these areas till date. Drinking water and medicines are also in high demands everywhere.

The relief work was suspended for half an hour as there was a heavy rain across the river Hogla and it was a great experience as everybody was in anxiety by local weather forecast about 2nd phase of Aila storm.

At last the Relief Team reached Kakmari point where the Aila devastation uprooted a nearby villages completely. There is no trace of many houses and the villagers left the place after the havoc. Some residents staying there under compulsion took relief materials from the visiting team and conveyed their gratitude to the HS team with tears.

After that the HS team reached Rajatjugli (Satjelia), Patharpara, Santigachi, Anpur and Jamespur. The areas are mostly inhabited by poor tribal people and they took Khichudi with high satisfaction sitting on the muddy ground. The scene was pain staking to the relief workers to realize the situation of the affected people. Drinking Water and Medicines and Bleaching Powder were also distributed as per demand and necessity.
The overall situation of Sunderban Core area and the Aila affected adjacent places and far regions in Gosaba, Sandeshkhali, Hashnabad and Hinganganj Blocks is very dangerous. It is next to impossible to do all the necessary disaster management works within a time frame by the Govt itself. Moreover, the health and sanitation situation is worsening day by day. The last 'bhora kotal' - full tide has affected the ongoing river-bank repairing works in another damaging condition. The outbreak of diarrhea, entiric fever and acute respiratory infections of children are looming a high threat in thuis aila affected areas. The problem of safe drinking water is also a big big problem unsolved as there is no comprehensive planning made by the conerned authorities as perceived.
In such a contrast of Nature's Curse and the Man made Loop-holes, it is a question of survival for the people in plight in Sunderban. Unless the Govt. plan for a comprehensive strategy including people co- operations, NGO initiatives and the cutting off all red-tapes in Govt level, a mere level of Relief Work for a temporary measure can not produce any permanent relief for the people of Sunderban always under the threat of 'Aila' or some other 'Liala'.

About 2000 affected people of 11 places were benefited on this Seva Day on 6th June rendered by Hindu Samhati, West Bengal.
Posted by Sambuddha Gupta/Spotlight Media Team, Kolkata & Sunderban
South 24 Parganas, West Bengal

CM harps on Cong merits to needle Mamata


Calcutta, June 7: If cyclone Aila had offered Mamata Banerjee an opportunity to hound a poll-battered Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, the chief minister hit back today by highlighting her partner Congress’s presence at an all-party meeting to discuss relief and rehabilitation at Writers’ Buildings.

The Congress joined the meeting ostensibly to record its criticism of the government’s disaster management failure but many in the CPM were happy, apparently having succeeded in driving a small wedge between the Opposition allies.
The Trinamul Congress skipped the meeting and if the reaction of its state president is anything to go by, it did not take kindly to the Congress’s gesture.
Bhattacharjee didn’t let go of the opportunity, pointing out his rapport with Manmohan Singh and Pranab Mukherjee. “Why should we think our meeting ended in a deadlock just because the principal Opposition party didn’t turn up? We held the meeting successfully…. All the Left parties were there. The Congress, a national party which is running the government at the Centre, was present,” he said.
“I am in touch with the Prime Minister, finance minister and the home minister. We are working together (to tackle the post-cyclone crisis). The Congress leaders today assured me that they would try their best to ensure central assistance,” he added.
The chief minister underlined the importance of the Congress several times while briefing the media on the 90-minute meeting. “The Congress gave the suggestion and others agreed to it. So we decided to meet again next Sunday,’’ Bhattacharjee said.
According to him, many participants felt they had had little time to ponder over the government’s report on the damage and destruction since it was only circulated during today’s meeting. “They will come up with their considered opinion next week.”
Manas Bhuniya and Sub- rata Mukherjee of the Congress not only signed the official resolution urging a joint effort by the state and the Centre to help the distressed but also agreed to attend the second round.
Yesterday, state Congress working president Pradip Bhattacharya had said that not attending the meeting would show “the party in poor light across the country”.
At the media briefing, Subrata tried to highlight how critical his party had been of the state government at the meeting. “We ripped apart the state government for its shoddy relief work. We told the chief minister that the CPM was doing politics over distribution of relief, which has not reached many.”
The chief minister, too, was politically correct, admitting the failure to reach out to the people in remote areas and stressing that the meeting had been called to rise above “narrow politics”.
Bhattacharjee said: “You ask the principal Opposition party why they didn’t turn up. It is unfortunate that she did not attend the meeting despite my invite. Nor did she send a reply to it…. We can’t stop our efforts just because of their absence. Our invitation (to Trinamul) stands.”
Trinamul state chief Subrata Bakshi said: “The Congress protests at the meeting were an eyewash. They are helping the CPM improve its image, which has taken a beating.”
Mamata said her party would also not attend next Sunday’s meeting. “We cannot oblige those who could not send a drop of drinking water to the cyclone-hit in a week by attending an all-party meeting.”
Asked about the Congress, she said: “The Congress is a different party and has its own compulsions. Maybe the Congress is thinking that the CPM may not attend an all-party meeting when it calls one.”

CM plays safe on Mamata

Statesman News Service KOLKATA, 7 JUNE

Chief minister, Mr Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee said he is in touch with the Prime Minister, Union finance minister and home minister directly to ensure enough assistance from the Centre to rehabilitate the Aila-affected people. Referring to the Railway minister and Trinamul chief, Miss Mamata Banerjee, the chief minister said, “They are the ministers who are dealing with the issue. But we are not avoiding any other minister. All are welcome to take part in the initiative to help the cyclone affected people.” It can be recalled that Miss Banerjee had earlier demanded that Central assistance should be given directly to either the district authorities or the gram panchayats as she does not have any confidence on the CPI-M-led state government. Emerging from the all party meeting that was called to ensure proper distribution of relief materials in the affected areas, the CM said the Congress and some other parties have pointed out that relief materials have not got to some remote areas. “We are trying to resolve the problem as early as possible. This apart, the Congress has claimed that distribution of relief materials is being politicised in some areas. We are also looking into the matter with utmost sincerity.” However, the Trinamul Congress and its ally Suci stayed away from the meeting. The Congress said that as the state government did not provide any information regarding the damage caused by Aila or the steps which have been undertaken to rehabilitate the affected, it was tough for them to take part in the discussion where rehabilitation of the affected people was discussed. However, the CM said he has decided to convene another all party meeting on 14 June as all such documents have been provided to the Congress and other parties today during the meeting. Dr Manas Bhunia, who represented the Congress in the meeting today, said, “The state government has failed to ensure relief to all the affected properly. Politics and lack of coordination between the district authorities and the gram panchayats are affecting distribution of relief badly. We have raised all the issues in the meeting and sought proper action.” He also said they would take up the issue of rehabilitation with the Centre and help the state to get as much assistance as possible from the Centre. The CM too mentioned that Congress would help them to get proper assistance from the Centre. On the Trinamul Congress' absence in the meeting, the CM said, “It would have been very good had they attended the meeting. But we can't stop our efforts, if somebody does not join the initiative.”Meanwhile, on the second day of high tide, no fresh damage occurred in the Aila-ravaged villages of South 24-Parganas as the water level did not increase much.

Coordination problem hits relief work

8 Jun 2009, 0412 hrs IST, Suman Chakraborti, TNN

KOLKATA: Lack of coordination among the government departments involved in relief work is resulting in much of the materials either getting lost or being grabbed by only a few. Relief
materials requisitioned by the panchayats are not even reaching the district magistrate's office properly. "It is not that relief materials like food and clothes are not being sent. So many trucks are being sent carrying relief materials, but where they are going? Another reason why relief is not reaching the remote areas is that it is not possible for the boats to reach everywhere," said Institute of Climbers and Nature Lovers secretary Mrinal Chatterjee. Many local clubs that have taken the initiative of their own in sending relief materials to the affected places were also complaining that the block-level officials have failed so far in sending relief materials to the worst-affected places. "We are getting complaints that a huge amount of relief material being requisitioned by the panchayats are not even reaching the DM's office. Where is it going then?" complained Tarun Halder, working for a club at Canning. Some officials involved in relief work also complained that no higher official from the DM office was seen in the last couple of days. "We could not contact the North 24-Parganas DM and ADM (treasury) for the last two days. Relief work is thus getting hampered," said a worker.
Unfortunately, many ordinary people who are themselves not very well off are trying to contribute with foods and clothes, but they have no idea where to approach or whether their contribution is being properly collected. What is also hampering relief work is that those who have been involved in relief work do not have the required training to do relief and rescue work for such a long period of time. In many places, relief workers are getting tired working continuously as they are not receiving any support.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Aila and Administration........... A Story Unfinished.


Members of the Central team with a cyclone victim at Lahiripur in Sunderbans.

District admn takes Central team for a ride

Madhuparna Das, Hindustan Times,

Posted: Monday , Jun 08, 2009 at 0439 hrs IST

The visit of the much-awaited Central team to the cyclone-affected areas fell short of expectations as the team could manage to visit only two places, though they were expected to visit ten villages in Sunderbans.
A five-member team led by Ashok Lavasa, Joint Secretary Ministry of Home Affairs, and accompanied by the top brass of South 24-Pargnas administration including the DM and the SP had a fleet of seven launches, when they set out for their visit Sunday morning.
But by evening they visited only Rangabelia and Lahiripur, as the district officials managed to restrict them to these places.
“I do not know the topography of the place and am dependent on the state government. I want to visit the marooned areas but I was taken to these two places only,” said Lavasa.
He added that it was the responsibility of the state government to take them to areas that recorded maximum damage.

At Rangabelia, where the team spent most of the time, 3389 houses have been destroyed by the cyclone and three persons have died.
When the officials asked about the relief camps for the villagers, the district officials said four camps were erected but now have been dismantled.
The team noted that water scarcity was a major problem in the area. “Water supply is a problem and the state government needs to resolve the issue as quickly as possible,” said Lavasa. The team also learnt that about 4,700 domestic animals have died in the calamity and there was no provision of burying them. The villagers said they have not been supplied with any bleaching powder and not enough doctors are present in the hospital.

The team spent only a few minutes in Lahiripur and spoke to just one woman before leaving. The team was scheduled to visit Gathkhali, Gosaba, Sonargaon, Bali II, Pakhiralya, Satkhelia, Kalidaspur, Chottomullachak and Kumirmari — one of the farthest region of the Sunderbans.
As their boats went across various islands, people came out of their shelters and spelt out their grievances, but the district administration did not let the team interact with villagers.
In one instance, a district official also shouted at the journalists, who insisted that the team should visit all places. “It is none of your business. It is our responsibility to take them around,” said an official.
The team accepted that the magnitude of destruction has been huge but about declaring it a national disaster, the Central officials said they will visit Patharpratima on Monday before taking a final call on the issue.

Tidal waves, disease stalk Sunderbans

Joydeep Thakur and Debdutta Ghosh, Hindustan Times, 08th June,2009

State Health & Public Health Engineering Department are to do
something without a Comprehensive Planning.

Tidal waves continued to lash Aila-hit islands in the Sunderbans through Saturday night and Sunday.

Villagers claimed the water level had increased since Saturday and could go up to five metres in low-lying areas by Monday.

“The high tide tolled in at night. In the morning, we woke up to see water gushing in… It was a ghastly sight,” said Jayanta Naskar, pradhan (headman) of Chunakhali village.

The village lies in Gosaba block - one of the worst affected. It comprises 14 villages, 12 of which are already inundated. Communication is cut off.

Since these islands are surrounded by the tributaries of big rivers like the Raimangal and Bidya, the water level is expected to go higher and the damage likely to be more.

Residents of these villages have been toiling day and night to plug the many breaches left by Aila with sand bags. But there are still gaping holes as wide as 2,500 feet.

A large number of people have fled towards higher grounds. Some have taken shelter on the embankments with the river dangerously close.

Environment experts and wildlife conservationists say the huge displacement caused by the cyclone and tidal waves may force many of the estimated 400,000 people who live among the mangrove forests and creeks and rivers to enter protected forests, thereby threatening one of the richest but most fragile ecosystems on earth.

In nearby Satjelia, Chiotomollakhali and Gothkhali, there’s another killer on the prowl — disease. An outbreak of enteric diseases has reportedly claimed five lives already, four in Satlejia alone, locals said. Officials did not confirm this though.

The central team, which is supposed to visit 11 places to assess damage and oversee relief work, has only reached Lahiripur so far.

Not possible to repair all embankments hit by Aila: Bengal minister

Indo-Asian News Service

Gosaba, June 06, 2009, Source :

A day before the full moon high tide coming close on the heels of the devastation caused by Cyclone Aila, the West Bengal government has admitted that it would be unable to repair a large part of the 400 km of damaged embankments in the mangrove-forested delta of the Sundarbans.
The full moon high tide scheduled on Sunday, considerably stronger than a normal high tide, has given rise to fears of fresh inundation and consequent massive devastation in an area where around 400,000 people live. The embankments have either been breached or weakened by Cyclone Aila which hit 13 of the 19 districts of the state May 25.
"There is a total of 3,500 km of embankment in the Sundarbans. Out of that 400 km has been breached. But it is not possible for us to repair more than 50-60 percent of it," state Sundarbans Affairs Minister Kanti Ganguly told IANS on Saturday.
The minister appealed to the able bodied people of the coastal regions of the North 24 Parganas and South 24 Parganas districts, which harbour the Indian part of the Sundarbans, to help strengthen the embankements.
"They must rush to the embankments with gunny bags, soil and shovels. If there is any fresh breach, that must be taken care of immediately," said Ganguly, who has been shuttling between remote Gosaba and Basanti to supervise relief operations in the worst-hit South 24 Parganas district.
Asked whether the government, which drew flak for inadequate relief distribution after the Aila damage, had succeeded in making foolproof arrangements, Ganguly said: "The geographical location of the Sundarbans is such there would always be gaps."
He said measures have been taken to make arrangements for sufficient water pouches in all the islands. "People have been asked to take shelter in safe school buildings," he said.
The entire Sundarbans region - areas like Gosaba, Patharpramita, Kultali, Hingalganj, Basanti, Sagar, Mousuni and others - has been ravaged by the cyclone, which left 128 people dead in its wake.
Ganguly said to reach medical facilities to the victims, village quacks are being trained at the initiative of some private organisations. "We have also started saline water de-watering of 50,000 ponds."
Irrigation minister Subhas Naskar said a large number of bamboo checkposts are being constructed in several key points.
"Three state ministers, myself (civil defence minister) Srikumar Mukherjee and Ganguly will take charge at different points. They will take spot decisions if the tide causes damages."
Meanwhile the state government was evacuating people in low-lying areas to safe zones.

Mukherjee said civil defence personnel have reached their areas of deployment by Friday.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Awaiting Aila affected people greeted Hindu Samhati Relief Team every where.




Extensive RELIEF WORK on 3rd June by HINDU SAMHATI

Sambuddha Gupta/ Spotlight News Services/ Kolkata & Sandeshkhali, 3rd June, 2009

In continuation of its extended Aila Relief Work, Hindu Samhati Workers penetrated some far reached areas of Sandeshkhali and Hingalganj Block in North 24 Parganas. On 04th June Hindu Samhati (HS) Relief Friends reached Malancha to join the local HS Workers to march towards Bermajur in Sandeshkhali II Block.

At Bermajur some 300 affected tribal people gheraoed Samhati Truck fully loaded with relief materials including dry foods, milk, medicines and ORS. The Aila affected tribal people were demanding some food and medical assistance as the Govt and other assistances are scanty and highly irregular. But When it was told that this relief team will go to Bermajur Dambalpara and Majherpara, the agitated people sympathetically allow HS team to venture there as no relief team covered those places yet.

As soon as a group of agile and dedicated workers left Bermajur Natun Bazar towards Dambalpara, Dr. Druba Mahajan and Upananda Brahmachari started a medical assistance camp in the near by fish market (though closed since the Aila Devastation on 25th May,09), where more than 100 patients were served with medicines, ORS, and Halazone tablets.

Though Majherpara-Dambalpara was a toughest place to reach, the relief team lead by Sujit Maity and Prokash Das reached there taking the relief materials by head-load and ‘shalti’- a small type of small boat, after exploring the waist level flood water stagnant there.

Another team distributed relief material at Gholapara and Jhupkhali Boyra Para. Dr. Subhankar Biswas always volunteered to reach the most difficult areas to extend every possible medical assistance to the affected people on this day.

Form Bermajur area the HS team reached at Dhamakhali in order to cross the river Bidyadhari to station at Khulna island, another land of devastation in Aila storm.

As His Excellency Sri Gopal Krishna Ghandhi reached Sandeshkhali this day, the police contingent over acted upon the relief team to reach them to Dhamakhali Jetty Ghat for crossing the river to reach other side for relief work. However, the HS Relief Team crossed the river hiring a boat from an unusual point at the muddy embankment taking a high risk.

In this island of Khulna (not in Bangladesh), the storm made a havoc and huge fertile lands have been spoilt under saline flood water. It was an unbearable situation to see, where the water logged affected people could not able to cook any food since the Aila Day. Hindu Samhati Relief Team reached South Banshtala, Bouthakurani, Bhandarkhali, Routpara, Basur More and Colony Para, all situated either or in a critical juncture of Sandeshkhali, Hasnabad and Hingalganj Blocks.
The local people and obviously some mothers helped the HS Team for distributing relief and preparing milk, etc. Samir Guha Roy, Prasenjit Samanta from Kolkata and Amlan, Ramkrishna, Pradip, Mrityunjay at the local level took a high initiative for this day towards an all round success of this Seva Day by all joint hands of the local Hindu Samhati workers. The total no. of 2000 people were benefited in 7 places out of this relief work on 3rd June. 42 Hindu Samhati activists participated on this Seva Day on 3rd June, 2009.

At the time of preparing this report, news came to Tapan Ghosh, President, Hindu Samhati, that a full fledged Relief Work is going today on 04th May at Atapur area in Khulna island in Sandeskhali II Block.

It is remarkable that when the agitating Aila affected people expressed their wrath and grief towards visiting people representatives like Local Member of Legislative Assembly or the Chief Minister of the State in a mud throwing or through abusive languages, the Hindu Samhati Workers or other Voluntary Organisations doing a meaningful relief work always greeted by the local affected people everywhere.
Why CM had to face the backlash
ZEESHAN JAWED / The Telegraph, Kolkata,

Gosaba, June 1: A kilometre-long corridor paved with little else other than red tape conspired with other attendant ills symptomatic of the Bengal administration’s decay to saddle the chief minister with his worst day in office on Sunday.
Lethargy, red tape, poor or non-existent infrastructure and lack of officers capable of taking rapid-fire decisions in the face of a crisis — you name it and Gosaba has seen it after Cyclone Aila struck last week.
An on-the-spot assessment by The Telegraph in Gosaba, where the chief minister ran into an unparalleled backlash by enraged cyclone victims, suggests relief materials are held up as long as 12 hours just to meet bureaucratic requirements.
Tight monitoring is required in a country notorious for pilferage but a full week after the cyclone hit, the administration has been unable to streamline the process.
The “entry-making” system in Gosaba is so convoluted that the relief materials are ferried by cycle vans over a 1km stretch from a ghat to a godown, only to be brought back to the same riverbank after faithfully recording the contents in a file. (See chart)
The journey of a relief consignment from Godkhali ghat to the godown and back captures everything that is wrong with the way Bengal is being run. Motorable roads do not exist beyond the ghat and the Bidhyadhari river. On the other side of the bank, there are only trails navigable by cycle vans.
For an administration that stirred out of stupor on Thursday — three days after the cyclone wreaked havoc — the requirement of “entry-making” was another diversion that devoured time. “We are distributing government relief materials and so we have to follow a set of processes, which may often take time,” admitted a block official standing next to the 1,000sqft godown of the Gosaba block office this afternoon.
Out of over 5 lakh people in the Gosaba block, over 2.5 lakh people were affected after Aila struck the Sunderbans last Monday.
Soon after the chief minister’s departure, some residents chased and beat up Gosaba BDO Amiya Bhushan Chakraborty, blaming him for the delay in relief delivery. “An individual cannot be blamed for this…. It would have been the same with a different official,” said another block office employee, blaming the system and the slow initial response.
He was overseeing the unloading of cycle vans ferrying relief materials from the Gosaba ghat to the block office, around 1km from the Bidyadhari. The sacks of rice and pulses and tarpaulin sheets had reached Godkhali ghat, on the other bank, early this morning. “The relief materials were unloaded from the trucks and our men there made the entries before loading them into steamers to be ferried to this side of the river,” he added.
A fleet of 20 to 25 cycle vans brought the materials to the Gosaba block office godown from the Bidyadhari’s banks and a middle-aged block official was tallying the list before allowing them to be stored in the godown. At the block office, officials, in consultation with gram panchayat members, were deciding on the quantity of materials to be sent to places like Sajnekhali, Bally I, Bally II, Choto Mollakhali and Kochukhali.
“Now the materials will be loaded in cycle vans and taken again to the Gosaba ghat, to be loaded into steamers or mechanised boats. Then the boats will sail for the affected areas,” the official said. “If a relief consignment arrives at Godkhali at 7am, it can’t leave Gosaba ghat for distribution before at least 7pm.”
Relief experts said the process helped prevent pilferage but multiple transhipment points delayed delivery. “When the crisis is so grave, some of these processes can be tweaked to ensure efficient, speedy distribution,” said Tanaji Sen, humanitarian services manager, REDR India, an NGO that specialises in disaster management.
Setting up a temporary godown either at Godkhali ghat — known as Singhadwar or the main entrance to the Sunderbans — or the Gosaba ghat to stock relief materials could have saved time, Sen said.
Such decisions need officers who have the ability and freedom to take quick decisions — virtues in short supply in the Bengal administration. BDO Chakraborty said setting up temporary godowns was impossible. “There is hardly any place along the ghats to build a temporary godown.”
But he conceded: “Our main problem is transportation of relief material after it reaches the Godkhali ghat.”
That is where the lack of another requirement of governance — foresight and planning — comes into play. “Everybody knows the Sunderbans is a disaster-prone area. The most important part of disaster management is preparedness. It’s clear the administration didn’t have the preparedness to tackle a crisis like this,” Sen said.