At this critical time, after the massive flooding in the State of Uttarakhand in June, with the loss of thousands of lives, with several thousand people still reported missing, PSI would like to express its solidarity to you and stand with you in mourning at the amplitude of this tragedy.
PSI praises the numerous rescue operations by the army and emergency response teams who have worked around the clock, tirelessly and unmindful of their own safety, to rescue stranded people in the flood waters and landslides.
This is a great lesson for governments and decision-makers on the utmost importance of investing adequately in public services, especially in building skilled disaster response teams, and deploying more people to deliver the emergency services, such as fire fighters, rescue workers and health personnel.
We understand also that many essential public services have collapsed due to severe damaged during the floods and landslides, including electricity and water supply installations, hospitals and roads. Without this essential infrastructure, as well as the necessary skilled personnel to deliver these services, the people of Uttarakhand, together with tourists and visitors, will be hard pressed to continue their shattered lives.
For a long time, the PSI affiliates in India have been demanding increased public investment to improve the quality of the infrastructure and provision of services. Tragedies like this prove that the demands of the unions are legitimate and well-founded.
We urge you to continue putting pressure on the government to increase investments in public services such as roads, hospitals and electricity and water installations, and to take seriously into account the related environmental and climatic issues, to curb such massive disasters which lead to heavy human and material losses.
PSI affiliates around the world join me in expressing our support and sympathy to the people of Uttarakhand and to the workers delivering essential public services in the affected areas.