Govt to further fine-tune SOPs for better disaster preparedness: Javaid Mustafa

Srinagar, Jun 6: The government will set in motion a proper Standard Operation Procedure (SOP) for all the stakeholders which will help them to work with synergy and in close coordination in case of any disaster and natural calamity in the state.
This was stated by the Minister for Disaster Management, Relief Rehabilitation & Reconstruction and Floriculture, Javaid Mustafa Mir, Thursday while chairing a high-level meeting of officers convened to assess the preparedness of the government to tackle emergency situations.
Chief Secretary B. B. Vyas was also present on the occasion.
Commissioner Secretary R&B Sanjeev Verma, Commissioner Secretary FCS&CA Dr. Abdul Rashid, Divisional Commissioner Kashmir Baseer Ahmad Khan, Secretary DMRRR Talat Parvaiz, ADG (Security) Muneer Ahmad Khan, Director Fire and Emergency Services R.T.Dubey, Chief Engineer R&B Nissar Ahmad Bhat, Commandant NDRF Ravi Kumar, SE (Drainage) SMC Srinagar Sartaj Singh, CEO JTFRP Vinod Sharma, Chief Engineer I&FC M. M. Shahnawaz, Director Disaster Management Authority Aamir Ali, senior officers of NDMA, SDRF and Metrological Department were present in the meeting.
The Minister directed for strengthening the Emergency Operation Centres (EOCs) at the district level within one month so that in case of any eventuality the people may not suffer. He said the government will put in place a mechanism to face any kind of situation in wake of earthquake, floods, windstorm, cloudbursts or any other natural calamity.
“Though the natural calamities have no fixed timing, but preparations to tackle the situation in case of any emergency needs to be made in advance,” he added.
The Minister was apprised that under the Jehlum-Tawi Flood Recovery Project, the Government of India has provided an amount of Rs 399.29 crore for dredging of river Jhelum which was started in 2015. He was further informed that 90% dredging work has been completed in Srinagar, while as 81% have been completed in Baramulla and other areas.
Instructions were given to theI&FC Department, Kashmir to constitute a team which will assess the impact of dredging to mitigate any flood situation.
Taking stock of the preparedness and the requirements, the Chief Secretary B. B. Vyas directed the concerned to submit proposals for the purchase of 30 boats and 20 rubber boats to the Planning Department so that the funds are released accordingly. He also directed them to submit a proposal for purchase of twenty lakh sand bags of worth Rs 50 lakh for early release of funds.
Chief Secretary also asked the officers to monitor the progress on dredging of River Jehlum submits a report on the assessment of impacts of dredging level within four weeks. He directed them to ensure that the dredging is up to the mark and as per set specifications.
It was decided that all the Deputy Commissioners will ensure identification of vantage points in their respective districts for setting up of ration stores.
With regard to dewatering of the city, the meeting was informed that an effective mechanism has been put in place for immediate dewatering in case of any eventuality.
It was given out that 80 pumping stations are in service in the city while as 114 dewatering pumps are available with the SMC authorities. Further, it was said that 24 dewatering stations are being upgraded by the Economic Reconstruction Agency (ERA) and 49 stations are being upgraded under World Bank funding.
Threadbare discussions were held with regard to the communication system, evacuation of people, outsourcing of tractors, trucks and tippers to meet any eventuality.
It was given out that the Indian Metrological Department will soon install 3 more Dopplers in the State for recording and disseminating weather forecast well in time.
Power Development Department was directed to establish a Disaster Management Unit having a control room with designated members of response team.
Besides all the Deputy Commissioners were directed to immediately conduct a mock drill which will inter-alia check the preparedness of evacuation, communication and connectivity plan.