In Pic :Flood waters gush around a giant statue of Lord Shiva in the holy city of Rishikesh in Uttarakhand state
Media in India are criticising the government’s lack of preparedness in dealing with the monsoon floods, which have killed more than 100 people in the northern parts of the country.
Nearly 73,000 people are stranded in the states of Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh due to heavy rainfall and landslides, reports say.
Most newspapers feel the “shoddy preparedness” by officials of the two states and the federal government has aggravated the problem.
The Asian Age, in its editorial, says each year the rains have the “same catastrophic effect” because the civic infrastructure is “incapable of handling the first downpour, let alone what follows”.
“With no signs of any let-up in rainfall, the ground conditions and attendant human misery are likely to worsen, revealing the country’s lack of flood preparedness,” The Times of India says.
Hindi newspaper Dainik Jagaran adds that the havoc wreaked by the monsoon rains “exposes” the country’s poor disaster management and feels the authorities “wake up to problems only when they stare us in the face”.
The Amar Ujala blames “rampant construction” in the area and citizens’ apathy towards environmental issues for the damage.
A photo gallery in The Indian Express shows the death and destruction caused by the floods.
In domestic politics, newspapers, including The Hindu, are reporting violent clashes between the workers of the main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Janata Dal (United) in the eastern state of Bihar over the end of their political alliance.
Staying with politics, controversial politician Narandra Modi on Tuesday met his senior BJP colleagues in Delhi to kick off the party’s poll campaign for the general elections due in 2014, reports The Times of India.
Meanwhile, The Hindu reports that many people are illegally buying and selling kidneys through websites designed for this purpose.
“Desperate need for money, lack of adequate organs lead to mushrooming of cyber forums for illegal sales,” the report says.
The Indian Express reported that former India cyclist and the current coach of the national team, Ruma Chatterjee, was killed by a speeding car during a practice session on Tuesday.
The accident too place on the Noida Motorway, just a few miles away from Delhi, the paper adds.
The Mail Today reports the inspiring story of Harman Singh Sidhu, who was paralysed from the neck down after a road accident in 1996, and has been campaigning since to make Indian roads safer.
Mr Sidhu started Arrive Safe, an NGO to spread awareness on road safety and is now one of the leading voices against rash and drink driving.
“Through my mission, I want to make people realise the value of what I have lost,” he says.
Moving on to some sports news, nine-year-old Ann Mary Jyotsna, from the southern state of Kerala, has been selected by the Sports Authority of India as a gymnast for her amazing skills in climbing walls – somewhat like the popular comic-book character Spiderman, The Times of India reports.
And the Indian hockey fans got some bad news with the national men’s team now needing a miraculous performance against Australia to secure a direct berth in next year’s Hockey World Cup in the Hague, after their below-par show in the ongoing qualifiers in Rotterdam, reports The Indian Express.