Wednesday 31 December 2014

Cold Wave Deaths in Uttarakhand and Houses our forefathers built for us

Written by Anil Singh

Amidst the news of Uttarakhand Chief Minister Harish Rawat stoutly denying the media reports that over 20 people have died across the hill state due to cold this season, correcting the exaggerated figure to just 2 -- one in Chamoli and another in Haridwar; one can say that the situation regarding shelters for homeless is quite grim in Uttarakhand. Actually it's grim in the entire country. That's why the weak and frail can't survive the winter chill in North India. Any funds disbursed by the Government prove insufficient, going by the number of homeless people around. But still, if the Governments can allow shopping kiosks to open besides highways, then it must not be a difficult task for it to build some low cost dormitory type shelters for the homeless. After all it's much better for the homeless, than sleeping under the sky.

That said, there is no respite for people with decent houses as well. The blame for this goes to how we are building our houses today. The extensive use of marble stone is aggravating the chill. The brick walls fail to provide for any insulation against the cold as well. Considering the plummeting temperatures in recent years; the old houses which our forefathers built with mud and wood appeared more apt for the winter chill and the summer heat. 


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