Minister for Revenue, Disaster Management, Relief, Rehabilitation and Reconstruction (DMRRR) Abdul Rehman Veeri today stressed on strengthening of institutionalising mechanism for mitigation of disasters.
The Minister was speaking at a high level review meeting of disaster preparedness of different departments here. The meeting was also attended by Minister of State for Disaster Management, Relief, Rehabilitation and Reconstruction Ajay Nanda.
The officers who attended the meeting included Financial Commissioner Revenue Lokesh Jha, CEO JTFRP Sundeep Nayak, Divisional Commissioner Kashmir Baseer Khan, Commissioner/Secretary Revenue Mohammad Ashraf Mir, Addl DG HG, CD, SDRF L. Mohanti, Chief Engineer I&FC Mohammad Hanief Lone, CE R&B Kashmir Abdul Hamid Sheikh, Director F&ES Rajinder Hak, Director Disaster Management Aamir Ali and other officers of concerned departments.
Mr Veeri impressed on the officers for strengthening and raising the height of the bunds along the river Jhelum and also asked the Irrigation and Flood Control Department to start the process of de-silting on the tributaries flowing into river Jehlum. He directed I&FC Department to employ more dredging machines to speed up the process of dredging and de-silting in River Jhelum.
The Minister also informed the meeting that a dedicated Central Flood Control Room has been setup at Srinagar equipped with landlines; broadband; fax and wireless communication network to monitor the water level round the clock and five automatic water level recorders have been setup at different places on Jehlum River.
Regarding de-watering operations in water logged areas in case of heavy rains, the meeting was informed that SMC has 54 functional mobile de-watering pumps while Fire & Emergency Services department has 100 functional mobile de-watering pumps.
The Officers also informed the Minister that process of setting up of Emergency Operation Centres with financial support of World Bank is being set up in Srinagar and Jammu.
Director Metrological Centre Sonam Lotus informed the meeting that department intends to install more sophisticated equipments in different areas of state for strengthening weather gathering information Grid. He assured the meeting that IMD would extend full cooperation to the Administration in extending real-time data regarding weather updates so that Government machinery can gear up men and machinery, well in advance for effective disaster mitigation.
He stressed on starting capacity building and awareness programmes on disaster preparedness in schools and colleges at Tehsil level in coordination with District Administration, SDMA and SDRF.
While highlighting the role of NGOs in mitigation of disasters, Mr Veeri asked the officers to rope-inn credible NGOs and other social leaders for disseminating information regarding disaster preparedness and their role in pooling resources at the time of eventuality.
He also sought the details from the Chief Engineer I&FC Kashmir regarding the plugging and strengthening of vulnerable spots of flood breach and directed for carrying out remaining work on war footing basis.
The Minister directed for mapping of all resources of departments particularly Fire and Emergency Service, Mechanical Engineering Department, Health and Medical Department, Urban Local Bodies, SMC and the information may be shared with the respective Deputy Commissioners so that these can be utilised in case of any disaster.
The Minister sought report on land acquisition process along flood spill channel from officers and was informed that process for acquisition of around 1300 Kanals of land has been carried out to increase the outflow in the flood spill channel.
Mr Veeri asked the Revenue Department to identify safe buildings, which would be used as relief shelters. “These shelters shall be designated as Disaster Management Centres and shall be equipped with relief items and rescue equipments,” he said.
The Divisional Commissioner Kashmir Informed the Minister that Rs 50 lakhs has been allotted to all Deputy Commissioners for mobilizing resources in times of eventuality.
Chief Engineer I&FC Kashmir informed the meeting that department is procuring Geo bags, which are better in for temporary bunding as compared to sand bags, which are available in stores to meet any flood situation. He also said that Department has 10 rubber boats and 10 aluminium boats to carry out relief operations during the floods.
Meanwhile, Government accorded sanction to the constitution of a Committee under chairmanship of Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir to ensure effective flood mitigation and coordination.
Chief Engineer I&FC Kashmir has been nominated as Member Secretary and IGP Kashmir, DC Srinagar, CE R&B Kashmir, CE MED Kashmir, Commissioner SMC, MD J&K SRTC, Commandant SDRF Ist Bn, Director Metrological Canter Srinagar and Deputy Controller Civil Defence have been nominated as Members.