J&K borders sealed fully, more funds released for anti-corona fight: Official

Jammu:Upping the ante in its fight against the Covid-19 spread, the Jammu and Kashmir administration on Monday ordered sealing of its entire interstate borders with Punjab, Himachal Pradesh and the Union Territory of Ladakh.

It also ordered release of an additional Rs 40 crore to all deputy commissioners to support their corona-mitigation efforts besides two months’ advance ration to eligible consumers.

The decisions were taken at a high level meeting chaired by Chief Secretary B V R Subrahmanyam, an official spokesman said.

He said the meeting also decided to release Rs one crore to the Jal Shakti (Public Health Engineering) Department to augment the supply of drinking water in Jammu and Kashmir.

The Jammu and Srinagar municipal corporations would be allocated an additional fund of Rs 50 lakh each to augment their sanitisation efforts, the spokesman said, adding other municipal committees of the J&K too would be given some additional funds for the purpose.

The interstate borders with Punjab, Himachal Pradesh and Ladakh UT will be fully sealed. Similarly, inter-district movement of vehicles would also be restricted as per the requirement, the spokesman said.

He, however, said all essential vehicles would ply normally, but the traffic on Jammu-Srinagar National Highway would also be regulated.

Taking a serious note of reports of some travellers skipping screening and self-declaration at arrival points or falsifying any information regarding their travel, the chief secretary directed strict checking at entry points of Qazigund and Lower Munda along the Jammu-Srinagar national highway and other entry points, airports and bus stands.

The chief secretary said the action should be initiated against those putting others at risk.

The spokesman said the meeting also decided that advance ration for two months — April and May — would be issued to all eligible consumers.

Besides, one month’s ration for Mid-Day Meals would also be given in advance to all parents of eligible children, the spokesman said.

The chief secretary also directed to keep all treasuries in Jammu & Kashmir open to facilitate encashment of bills in view of the closure of the financial year.

The Department of Information and Public Relations, meanwhile in a tweet, said three senior IAS officers have been attached to the Health and Medical Education (H&ME) Department to assist officials in their coronavirus mitigation efforts.

The officers, attached to the H&ME Department included Food and Civil Supplies Secretary Simrandeep Singh, Jammu DISCOM’s Managing Director Yasha Mudgal and Kashmir DISCOM MD Aijaz Asad.

Mr Simrandeep Singh (Secy,FCS), Ms Yasha Mudgal (MD, DISCOM, Jammu) and Mr Aijaz (MD,DISCOM, Kmr) are attached to HME Dept, in addition to their existing duties, to assist in coronavirus mitigation efforts. They will perform duties assigned to them by FC (Financial Commissioner), H&M, the department wrote on its official Twitter handle.

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