Q12. There is a disaster-prone state having frequent landslides, forest fires, cloudbursts, flash floods and earthquakes, etc. Some of these are seasonal and often unpredictable. The magnitude of the disaster is always unanticipated. During one of the seasons, a cloudburst caused devastating floods and landslides leading to high casualties. There was major damage to infrastructure like roads, bridges and power generating units. Due to the cloudburst, more than 100,000 pilgrims, tourists and other locals were trapped across different routes and locations. The people trapped in your area of responsibility includes senior citizens, patients in hospitals, women and children, hikers, tourists, ruling party’s regional president along with his family, additional chief secretary of the neighbouring state and prisoners in jail.
As a civil services officer of the state, what would be the order in which you would rescue these people and why? Give justification. (20 marks) (200 words)
We must follow some basic principles for evacuation in such conditions. We must first help those who are most critical and won’t be able to survive if help is not given to them immediately. We should, therefore, follow the following sequence for rescuing people.
• Senior citizens and patients must be evacuated first since they have the least resistance in such adverse climatic conditions.
• Women and children should be evacuated next as they are the second-most vulnerable in difficult situations. We may start with older women and younger children.
• We must then rescue the tourists who are unfamiliar with the terrain and find it difficult to survive without the support of local administration.
• The political leaders and their family members must be evacuated next because the family members may comprise women and children who must be given higher priority.
• Additional chief secretary can be helped by the local district administration and he may be evacuated later. He is a senior officer of the government who is usually familiar to tackle such situations as part of his job.
• Hikers are usually strong and adventurous people. They are trained to handle difficult situations. They can be placed last in the plan of rescue.
• The prisoners may remain in jail after they have received the basic first-aid facilities unless the prison has become inhabitable.
All efforts should be made to help those who are the weakest and most vulnerable so that there is no chaos and people don’t feel discriminated due to the attitude of the officials. (253 words)
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