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Prime time focus on human cost of Uttarakhand’s avalanche, ‘tool kit plot’ floods Republic

A quick take on what prime time TV news talked about.

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New Delhi: Prime time news on Sunday was consumed by updates on the Uttarakhand floods and the devastation caused by the glacier burst. A glacier broke off in Joshimath in Uttarakhand’s Chamoli district on Sunday, causing massive floods in the Dhauli Ganga river and endangering the lives of people living along its banks.

Aaj Tak’s anchor Anjana Om Kashyap discussed the government’s efforts to contain the destruction, while CNN News18’s Anusha Soni lauded the compensation offered by governments.

Times Now’s Swati Joshi remembered another tragedy: “Memories of 2013 floods haunted the entire country, once again, after a glacier broke in Dhauli Ganga valley in Joshimath, resulting in widespread devastation.”

“In the incident, some have lost their lives, some have lost their homes and over a hundred are still missing,” she added.

However, Joshi revealed that even amid the tragedy, “our jawans are heroically carrying out the rescue operation and are saving the lives of those stranded.”

CNN News18’s Anusha Soni discussed the ‘coordinated efforts’ of the Centre and the state government to compensate those adversely affected. “After Uttarakhand Chief Minister announced four lakhs in compensation for the kin of the deceased, the central government has also stepped in.”

“The Centre has announced Rs 2 lakh in compensation for the kin of deceased and Rs 50,000 for those who were seriously injured,” Soni explained.

On Aaj Tak, the discussion followed along similar lines.

“Our brave soldiers have done very well. They have rescued a lot of people who were in danger. In this time of peril, the whole country is with the people of Uttarakhand,” said Sanjay Kumar, former director general of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF).

“We have also applied all the lessons we learnt from the 2013 Kedarnath tragedy,” he said. “About the kind of warning or advisory available beforehand, we will focus on that later. Our main aim is to ensure everyone is safe.”

Anchor Anjana Om Kashyap also spoke with Uttarakhand’s DGP Ashok Kumar who said, “Over a 100 people are still missing. There are two locations where maximum people are stuck and we are trying our best to ensure they are rescued.”

Kumar was a favourite on TV, Sunday, appearing on two other prime time shows too.

On India TV, he focussed on the issues that will be faced by the rescue operation teams at night: “There are still many people who are missing and the water is near freezing point. It is very difficult to carry out rescue operations in these conditions. But for now, we will figure out how to work in the dark with lights and our aim is to work as fast as possible,” he said.

“We also need medical teams at all spots to ensure treatment for those who are stuck,” he noted.

Meanwhile, Republic’s Arnab Goswami had other matters on his mind.

He was interested in the alleged ‘toolkit plot’. This was in reference to a tweet shared by climate change activist Greta Thunberg in which there was a ‘toolkit’ for her Twitter followers guiding them on how to support the ongoing farmers protest in India.

Goswami wasn’t happy about this ‘toolkit plot’, he said, “This week we exposed the toolkit plot when a member of our news team found that upended with Great Thunberg’s ridiculous tweets on farmers, was a toolkit….”

“This had been accidentally included which gave the whole story of how behind the so-called farmers protest, there was a global, political, corporate nexus that was working, which was putting 100 of crores into trying to destabilise India,” he said.

“Since this has been exposed, these people have nowhere to hide. Every minute someone from their tool kit plot says sorry, acknowledges that there was a tool kit plot…’’ claimed Goswami.


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