JAMMU: Chief Secretary, B B Vyas Friday called for cent percent funding from the Union Government for disaster mitigation in Jammu & Kashmir.
“Government of India has been generously extending financial assistance to the State while implementing projects under ADB loan and World Bank financing with 100% funding. There is a need for similar dispensation to be considered for J&K in the Disaster Management area as well,” Vyas said at a meeting convened through videoconferencing by Secretary, National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), R K Jain with the Chief Secretaries of eight states including Northeast and J&K to discuss the framework of projects conceived to mitigate disasters related to earthquakes.
Secretary NDMA informed the Chief Secretaries that the Government of India is in the process of launching a project to workout strategies to mitigate and risk reduction to the life and property due to the earthquakes and in the first instance, eight states of Northeast, Himachal, Uttarakhand and J&K falling in the seismic zone of IV and V will be taken up for implementing measures and building capacities to deal with these natural calamities due to earthquakes.
Vyas urged the Secretary NDMA that J&K is looking forward for sharing by NDMA of best practices, new knowledge and expertise in the area of disaster mitigation, rural housing, building codes, regulatory framework and other related areas.
He said J&K has a peculiar geo-climatic condition and falls in the Seismic Zone IV and V, and majority of the population is residing in the Zone IV. “Besides, people in J&K live on hillocks and in border areas which have peculiar challenges to be addressed to combat not only manmade disasters but natural calamities like earthquakes, floods and snow tsunamis which position the state in a multi-hazard zone and would require synergy and coordination of various Ministries and Departments for quick and effective response to all the natural and manmade disasters,” he said.
The Chief Secretary further informed the meeting that J&K has set up a separate department of Disaster Management and has put in place State Disaster Management Authority (SDMA) headed by the Chief Minister, two Divisional Disaster Management Authorities headed by the respective Divisional Commissioners, and 22 District Disaster Management Authorities to formulate plans, coordinate resources and to build capacities to face the challenges arising due to calamities. He said Emergency Disaster Response Centres(EDRC) are being set up to deal with the situation in the quickest of the time to save the precious lives and to minimize the damage. He further informed that the State appreciates the need for procurement of disaster related equipment and retrofitting of public and private buildings to make them disaster resilient. “However, a comprehensive framework needs to be worked out to provide techno-logical and techno-legal regime to regulate the construction of government buildings and to enforce design and building techniques for private houses as well for making them earthquake resistant,” he said and added that a team from J&K Disaster Management Department will to visit NDMA for interaction and further guidance on the disaster mitigation parameters.
During the meeting, the importance of a focused comprehensive strategy for risk management and disaster preparedness was impressed upon by the participants. Modalities regarding funding pattern came under discussion and states desired that Government of India should workout liberal funding for undertaking measures to safeguard life and property in public and private domain.