Use SDRF funds liberally: CS
SRINAGAR: Advisor to Governor, Khurshid Ahmad Ganai and Chief Secretary BVR Subrahmanyam Tuesday complimented the divisional administration for dealing effectively with the situation in the aftermath of the last week’s snowfall.
“Administration’s visibility at the time of distress has the biggest soothing effect on people. When the officers are on the ground, a sense of hope is generated which has a calming effect in such situations,” they observed.
With weatherman predicting another spell of snow in Kashmir around the coming weekend, the Advisor and the Chief Secretary arrived at the winter secretariat Tuesday to review the preparedness of the civil and police administration in the Valley.
The meeting was also attended Divisional Commissioner Kashmir Baseer Ahmad Khan, Deputy Commissioners of all districts of Kashmir Division, some of whom participated through video conferencing, provincial heads of Departments, IG Kashmir, and other officers of civil and police administration.
The Advisor and the Chief Secretary complimented the Divisional Commissioner Kashmir, Deputy Commissioners of Kashmir Division and the heads of departments for making strenuous efforts to resume normal life after the disruption caused by snowfall last week.
While complimenting the Divisional Administration Kashmir for walking extra mile to ensure that normal life was not affected during snowfall, Advisor Ganai took note of cases where there was delay in clearing snow from lanes and by-lanes in parts of Kashmir.
Ganai asked the Divisional Administration to make equal efforts in urban centers as well as the far-flung areas of Kashmir and ensure that the life of commoners is not derailed by wet weather, “We tend to forget bad pockets easily during such bad situations,” he said.
They directed the Deputy Commissioners to use the SDRF funds for clearing liabilities that may have arisen due to inclement weather.
“Under rules, SDRF funds can be used for funding purchases of more transformers in emergency situations. You will save your budgeted funds for other situations while the Government of India will reimburse the SDRF funds to the state, so you must use these funds judiciously and liberally,” the Chief Secretary said.
“Make two separate financial projections for what you want for, say, the Power Department, to deal with emergency situations as a result of harsh weather, and how much can be met through SDRF,” the CS directed the Deputy Commissioners.
The Chief Secretary asked the Divisional Commissioner and Deputy Commissioners to make use of the scenic views offered by snow clad Valley and the activity it puts into motion for promotion of Jammu and Kashmir as a top winter tourist destination at national and international level.
“Snowfall can become an effective way to lure tourists to Kashmir. You can even make short films and other promotional stuff which can be advertised on social media to project Kashmir as a major winter tourist attraction,” he said.
Earlier, the Divisional Commissioner Kashmir briefed Advisor Ganai and Chief Secretary about the measures being put into place by the civil and police administration to tackle emergency situations since last week’s moderate to heavy snowfall that was recorded between 9 inches and 3.5 feet in different parts of Kashmir.
Khan said 97.3 percent roads affected by snowfall have been restored for traffic with the men and machinery of all the emergency departments like Health, PDD and PHE on their toes to ensure that there is no disruption in normal life. He said the Srinagar-Jammu National Highway was made operational day on Sunday is open for one-way traffic, subject to dry weather conditions. “I personally inspected the arrangements made for patients at different government hospitals,” he said.
The Deputy Commissioners briefed the Advisor and the Chief Secretary about the emergency works undertaken to meet eventualities that arise due to snowfall. They said additional stock of essentials like LPG, Rice Grain, Sugar and Kerosene has been dumped in stores to ensure that people are not put to any inconvenience in case of inclement weather.
The DCs sought additional financial assistance to upgrade the buffer stock of transformers in order to provide uninterrupted power supply to people. Chief Secretary said the Government is committed to improve governance in Jammu and Kashmir and all their requirements will be fulfilled in due course of time.
Director Meteorology, Sonum Lotus, informed the meeting that a weather system has built up which will lead to fresh snowfall from Friday, though it will not be as heavy as last week. “Wet weather conditions marked by light to moderate snowfall and rains are likely to prevail till January 14,” he said.