Government Thursday said that Rs 5 crores have been released to Kashmir Division and Rs 1.20 crore to Doda, Reasi, Kishtwar and Ramban districts for meeting the urgent exigencies created by the untimely heavy snowfall in Valley and hilly region of Jammu Division. It was revealed during a meeting headed by Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah, who was briefed on the status of restoration of essential services.
The two teams of top ranking officers headed by Chief Secretary, Mohammad Iqbal Khandey and Financial Commissioner Revenue, Arun Kumar who visited the Valley and Doda, Ramban and Kishtwar districts yesterday to oversee emergency nature works and monitor the process of restoration of essential services, apprised the Chief Minister about the status of ongoing restoration operation in the Valley and hilly region of Jammu Division at a high level meeting Omar Abdullah chaired here in this regard.
The Chief Minister was informed that 80 percent to 90 percent power supply has been restored in most of the areas barring a few where severe damage has caused to the installations. It was stated that the transmission towers in Budgam, Shopian, Anantnag and other areas have received much damage. The men and machinery is in full swing to restore the damaged towers and transformers to ensure supply of electricity.
The Chief Minister was told that the restoration of power supply to various public service installations have been all most restored and work to achieve 100 percent goal in this direction is on. It was stated that there are 42,000 transformers installed in the State and during such calamities a good number of these develop snags which take some time to restore.
The Chief Minister directed for installing lightning conductors with the transformers which are in lightning prone areas and get damaged due to lightning. “You should make a rule to install transformers along with lightning conductors,” he told the Power Department.
The meeting was informed that all the priority-I roads have almost been cleared from snow while as the work is on a pace for clearing priority-II and priority-III road communication links. The Chief Minister was told that the work on clearance of landslides and snow on National Highway is on full swing and the road is expected to be opened for traffic by today evening.
The Chief Minister also ascertained the dewatering operation in the Srinagar city and around. He said since the fast snow melting will add to this problem, as such, all resources need to be mobilized to put on the service ensuring de-watering in the water logged areas. He was informed that besides fixed de-water stations, Fire Services’ water pumps and the water pumps of Agriculture Department are also being put to service in water logged areas.
Taking brief about the status of damages caused to water supply service due to the heavy snowfall and rains, the Chief Minister was told that about 175 water supply schemes in Jammu and 43 in Kashmir were affected. It was stated that most of these have been restored and restoration work on the rest is on fast track.
It was stated in the meeting that as many as 17 deaths have been reported due to the snow catastrophe while 57 cattle have also got killed in the calamity. There has been tentative estimate of partially and fully damages to 1922 houses in Kashmir Division while as the damage to the property in the Jammu Division is being assessed.
The Chief Minister also received brief about the restoration of telecommunication services in the State. He was informed that most of the service has been restored and there will be total restoration within a couple of days.
The Chief Minister while receiving the brief about the stock and supply position of essential commodities was informed that most of the areas hit by snow have good stocks of fuel and essential commodities. The Chief Minister directed that wherever needed supply of essentials should be despatched from the headquarters.
The Chief Minister also directed the concerned to arrange helicopter sorties for evacuating persons from the snow bound areas. He also directed for keeping close eye on the markets so that unscrupulous elements do not exploit situation and create scarcity of essentials to highjack prices.