Awareness, capacity building to foster disaster preparedness: Javaid Mir

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SRINAGAR: Minister for Disaster Management, Relief, Rehabilitation and Reconstruction Javaid Mustafa Mir on Saturday stressed on strengthening the institutionalized mechanism for mitigation of disasters.
Mir was speaking at a high-level meeting of officers here. The meeting was attended by Divisional Commissioner Kashmir Baseer Ahmed Khan, Chief Engineer I&FC, Director State Disaster Management Aamir Ali, Deputy Commissioner Srinagar Abid Rashid Shah, officers from Mechanical Engineering, SDRF, Fire and Emergency Services, Health and Medical Education and others. The meeting was also attended by deputy commissioners of other Kashmir districts along with concerned officers through video conferencing.
The Minister directed the Chief Engineer I&FC to ensure removal of all obstructions including trees on river embankments of Jhelum besides immediate stopping of illegal sand extraction and usage of heavy machinery for sand mining.
He also asked the Chief Engineer to survey all the potential spots of embankment breaches and strengthen them permanently.
Mir also sought a report from the I&FC department regarding achievements on account of dredging for increasing water carrying capacity of spell channel and river Jhelum.
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.
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 information sharing with the respective Deputy Commissioners for prompt utilisation in case of any disaster. He also called for inventorization of all the equipments like boats which can be used during calamities.
He asked the Mechanical Engineering, Fire and Emergency Service departments and SMC to give exact position of machinery including snow clearance machines and de-watering pumps.
The Minister also sought the status of relief and compensation provided to the families whose houses and business establishments were affected in 2014 floods from all deputy commissioners and asked them to expedite the process.
Mir also asked all deputy commissioners to give the status of their districts regarding preparation for disasters like the setting of emergency operation centres (EOC), purchasing blankets, identifying buildings which can be used during disasters and for training local volunteers.
Minister also asked the deputy commissioners to conduct fire and safety audit of all government buildings besides strictly ensuring all the private and government buildings adhere to National Building Code (NBC).