Wednesday, August 31, 2005

(mailer of the Concerned Citizens Commission for an enquiry into the Mumbai Floods 2005 - please spread the word and help out/speak out -- we need some truth and change if we're to prevent future calamities and make this city livable .. )

Dear Fellow Citizens of Mumbai:

We were deeply shocked by the events that led to the tragic floods in
Maharashtra which led to the deaths of several hundreds of citizens
in Mumbai and Maharashtra. The formation of the Concerned Citizens'
Commission (CCC): An Enquiry into the Mumbai Floods 2005, was
announced at a press conference on 16 August 16 2005 (please refer
press note below). The initiative is being actively supported by over
30 organisations.

In brief, the CCC is a fact finding mission that will look into the
disaster that befell large parts of Mumbai city on July 26 and in the
following days. The Commission consists of an eminent Panel of nine
members. They will be assisted by NGOs and those who have been
involved in the relief efforts at the grass roots level, as well as
others with knowledge of disaster management, urban planning,
administration, ecology and other relevant fields.

Through a series of public hearings and depositions from common
Mumbaikars, urban planning experts, government officials and others,
the Panel will piece together the events leading up to the tragedy,
identify and hold accountable those responsible for inaction and
mismanagement and make a set of recommendations.

The CCC will look into the causes of the flooding, the response from
government and other agencies and how our future urban planning can
ensure that the damage from future 'natural disasters', compounded by
human factors, can be mitigated. We aim to release the Commission's
finding in the form of a report by 31 October 2005. As one can
imagine, this is no easy task logistically. Fund raising for the CCC
is currently underway.

On behalf of the CCC, we urge your organisation to make a donation of
whatever amount possible. Cheques in favour of Conservation Action
Trust can be sent to CAT, B 502 Glengate, Hiranandani Gardens, Powai.
Mumbai 400076. (Please note we are still waiting for our S. 80G
approval – please make your cheques “A/C Payee Only” – Thanks)


CONCERNED CITIZEN'S COMMISSION (CCC): An Enquiry into the Mumbai
Floods 2005

Few Mumbaikars were left untouched or unaffected by the devastating
floods that hit the city from July 26 onwards. After the grief and
shock has come an overwhelming sense of anger and the urgent need to
know what actually happened, why civic life remained disrupted for so
many days and what lessons can be learned, so that a repeat
catastrophe is avoided.

With this in mind, a coalition of citizen's groups from across the
length and breadth of the city announce the formation of the
Concerned Citizens' Commission: An Enquiry into the Mumbai Floods
2005. The Commission consists of an eminent Panel of nine members.
They will be assisted by NGOs and those who have been involved in the
relief efforts at the grass roots level, as well as others with
knowledge of disaster management, urban planning, administration,
ecology and other relevant fields.

Through a series of public hearings and depositions from common
Mumbaikars, urban planning experts, government officials and others,
the Panel will piece together the events leading up to the tragedy,
identify and hold accountable those responsible for inaction and
mismanagement and make a set of recommendations.

The CCC will also look into the causes of the flooding, the response
from government and other agencies and how our future urban planning
can ensure that the damage from future 'natural disasters',
compounded by human factors, can be mitigated.

The Panel will consist of:

1. Justice P.B. Sawant (Retired Supreme Court Judge)
2. Ms. Teesta Seetalvad (Citizens for Justice and Peace)
3. Mr. Shyam Chainani (Bombay Environmental Action Group)
4. Mr. Sharad Kale (Former Municipal Commissioner of Mumbai)
5. Mr. Nasser Munjee (Expert on Urban Infrastructure)
6. Mr. Darryl D'Monte (Environmental Journalist)
7. Mr. Chandrashekhar Prabhu (Architect and Town Planner)
8. Mr. Datta Ishwalkar (Girni Kamgar Sangharsh Samiti)
9. Mr. Suresh Bhosale


The Terms of Reference of the CCC are:

1. To develop a reliable picture of the floods in Greater Mumbai
and document what actually took place, the extent of damage to lives
and dignity of persons, along with a detailed examination of property
loss and damage, linked critically to the issue of relief and
compensation.

2. To determine the causes and factors that led to the flooding,
including the role of the state executive, government and
administration in implementing the Disaster Management Plan.

3. To understand the role of the MCGB and the State police – in pre-
empting, containing and controlling damage to life and property.

4. To recommend a set of measures to better anticipate natural
calamities and to minimize their impact; as also to ensure that
Disaster Management Plans are implemented more effectively.

5. To identify in particular those responsible for inaction and
hold them accountable.

6. To ensure effective citizen participation in the planning of the
city and in Disaster Management.

7. Any other relevant matters that the Panel may decide to include.

The CCC calls on all those with relevant information to share to send
their submissions to cccmumbaiflood@gmail.com and
cccmumbaiflood@yahoo.co.uk and to CCC, c/o Citizens for Justice and
Peace, Nirant, Juhu Tara Road, Juhu, Mumbai 400 049.

The CCC intends to release its Report within three months. The Report
will then be available to the public to initiate follow up and
remedial action with the State Government, BMC and other relevant
authorities, as well as citizens' groups.


Debi Goenka Cyrus Guzder



The Concerned Citizens' Commission (CCC) is endorsed by the following
groups:

Bombay Environmental Action Group (BEAG)
Citizens For Justice and Peace (CJP)
Girangoan Rozgar Hakk Samiti
Shahid Bhagwat Jadhav Samiti Kendra
Conservation Action Trust
AGNI
National Association of People's Movement (NAPM)
BNHS (Bombay Natural History Society)
NAGAR
Apnalaya
Nivara Hakk Suraksha Samiti
Citispace
Clean Air
Bombay Catholic Sabha
Voice Of The Exploited (VOTE)
All India Catholic Union (AICU)
Friends of Society
SEED
People's Union for Human Rights (PUHR)
KHOJ
National Welfare Society
ACHRA and Welfare Education Trust
All India Human Rights & Citizens Option
Communalism Combat
Mangrove Society of India
Marine Drive Residents Association
Oval Cooperage Residents Association
Nariman Point Residents Association
Nirmala Niketan
Rashtriya Yuva Sangathan
Sarvoday International Trust
Mohalla Committee
Prayas
Apnalaya
Ration Kruti Samiti, Mumbai
Majlis
CRIT (Collective Research Initiatives Trust)
Documentation, Training and Research Centre
Institute for Community Organisation Research

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