SRINAGAR: The Mechanical Engineering Department (MED), has activated 18 control rooms across Kashmir in view of the heavy rain and snow forecast from December 11, Chief Engineer MED Vijay Kumar Raina said Saturday .
“Mechanical Engineering Department, Kashmir is fully prepared for timely clearance of snow and all the preparations have been done to keep men and machinery ready to respond to any situation in view of the weather advisory from December 11,” said Raina.
The Met Department has issued weather advisory according to which a western disturbance is approaching J&K and adjoining areas due to which moderate to heavy snowfall is expected at most places in the State from December 11 to December 13, 2017. “This system is likely to affect J&K from 9th December onwards and produce moderate to heavy snowfall on 11, 12 and 13 December,” the advisory said.
Raina said the department has carried out the mock drills, other preparatory works and has directed the officials at the district and provincial level to keep the men and machinery ready.
“We have activated our control rooms including 10 in South Kashmir, 5 in North Kashmir and 3 in Central Kashmir. We have also created one provincial level control room which will keep track of every development across the region as far as the weather changes are concerned,” he said, adding “Our manpower and machinery are ready and are in a state of preparedness, so as to minimize disruption of essential services, road connectivity, restoring electric supply, water supply, healthcare services etc,” he said.
Raina informed that the Department has prepared the ‘Snow Clearance Action Plan’, under which the men and machinery is deputed on immediate basis. Elaborating, Raina said the “Mechanized Snow Clearance Action Plan”, covers almost all the major routes across Kashmir region. Besides, some additional roads have been incorporated in the instant plan as per the demand received from the Public Works Department.
He said during Snow Clearance Operations, it may not be possible to clear mechanically such portions of a roads whose condition is abnormal having rough surface and the same shall have to be taken up for manual Snow Clearance by R&B Wing of the Public Works Department.
“We have to work in synergy and public support is vital in these operations,” he said. “We have adequate staff and machinery available. But need support from all departments and enhancing communication channels are very important in this regard,’ he said.
‘Snow Clearance Zones’
Raina said department has various machines, including some high-end equipment, like Snow Ploughs, Snow Cutters, Motor Graders, Motor Loaders and Dozers and Unimog.
“We have 141 machines standby and these have been distributed to various districts according to the requirement,” he said.
“Three Leyland Stallion Recovery Cranes and one each in the respective Snow Clearance Zone shall be kept as stand-by for recovery, servicing of snow clearance machines,” he said.
He informed that the standby machinery would be kept as reserve and shall be deputed to various sites to deal with any emergencies to arise anywhere in the Valley. This decision has been taken in view of the problems faced previously during heavy snowfall in different parts of the Kashmir region, especially in Gulmarg, Shopian, Yousmarg, Beerwa and Kupwara etc.
“For effective implementation of the operations, Mechanical Engineering Department issues Snow Clearance Action Plan every year. For that we have the Operational Staff manning the equipment, 2) the Supervisory and Administrative Staff, the Priority-I, II, III and IV roads and Allocation of various machines,” he said.
He further said that the MED also works with the Joint Control Rooms, which are established with help of other departments here. He said that after weather advisory, all arrangements have been put in place by the concerned district administrations to deal any emergency.