Incessant rains: Mufti rushes to Sgr, urges people not to panic

KL Report

SRINAGAR

Cancelling all his prior engagements at Jammu, the Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed Sunday rushed to Srinagar to review the situation first-hand that has arisen due to incessant rains which have continued to lash Kashmir Valley from the last two consecutive days.

According to official spokesman, immediately after landing here, the Chief Minister rushed to the Banquet Hall to chair a high-level meeting which was attended by the Minister for PHE, I&FC, Ch. Sukhnandan Kumar, Minister for Finance, Dr. Haseeb A. Drabu, Minister for R&B, Syed Altaf Bukhari, Minister for IT, Technical Education & Youth Services & Sports, Imran Raza Ansari and Minister of State for Health & Medical Education & Social Welfare Asiya Naqash.

While reviewing the steps taken by the administration to quell the threat emerging from continuous rains, the Chief Minister directed the Divisional Administration to secure the lives and properties of the panic-stricken people so that they don’t face any problems which they experienced during the devastating floods of 2014.

The Chief Minister was informed that three Joint Control Rooms in South, Central and North Kashmir have been set up which will be manned by the representatives of Civil, Police & Army officers. These control rooms will function round-the-clock.

The Chief Minister directed the CA&PD to stock essential commodities at the nearest ration stores. He was told that an Evacuation Plan has already been framed. SRTC vehicles have been put on standby to meet any eventuality of evacuation and school buildings and other available public infrastructure are also being identified if need arises.

The Chief Minister asked the Divisional Administration to maintain adequate number of sand-bags and de-watering pumps so that those low-lying areas which are facing immediate threat of inundation are addressed on priority. He said the people should be updated about the measures taken by Government by using all channels of communication including TV, radio and social media.

The Chief Minister said the Government will take all preventive measures required to tackle the situation and shift people from vulnerable and low-lying areas to safer places.

Asking the Divisional Commissioner to maintain high alert, the Chief Minister directed the Flood Control Department to ensure embankments are secured and lift drains are functional so that expected inundation of very low-lying areas is prevented at any cost.

Due to heavy rains in Srinagar over the last two days, waterlogging has occurred in some low-lying areas of the city and some other parts of the Valley, where de-watering is presently under way.

The Chief Minister asked the Army to provide logistic support in terms of men and machinery to the Civil Administration for effectively countering the situation. Gen. Chavan, who was present in the meeting, assured the Chief Minister that the Army will provide all support to the civil administration which is required to tackle the eminent threat from continuous rains.

The Chief Minister also issued instructions for utilizing the rescue teams of State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) so that evacuation plans, are ready if the situation so demands.

While briefing the Chief Minister, Chief Engineer I&FC said the situation is being monitored on hourly-basis. He said around 60,000 sand-bags have been distributed so far in highly-vulnerable areas to prevent water seepage. He said the department has a back-up stock of 12 lakh sand-bags with it to meet any emerging situation.

Commissioner, SMC, informed the Chief Minister that presently 50 pumps have been deployed to de-water low-lying areas. This is other than the pumps pressed into service by the Department of Fire & Emergency Services. He, however, highlighted the need for more pumps to cater to all the vulnerable areas in the city.

The Director, Meteorological Department Kashmir, informed the Chief Minister that the intensity of rains will decrease from tomorrow afternoon and the weather is expected to improve. He, however, hoped that the situation of 2014 will not be repeated as the intensity of rains is not expected to be as high as it was during last year.

Earlier, the Chief Minister had rushed a team of senior Ministers to Srinagar to keep an eye on the emerging situation due to continuous rains in the Valley.

The Chief Minister was briefed that Control Rooms have also been established at all District Headquarters to keep an eye on flood-prone areas and monitor the level of water in river Jhelum. The Chief Engineer told the Chief Minister that they are keeping a close watch on the situation in all parts of the Kashmir Valley.

The Chief Minister asked the Divisional Administration to activate all its manpower to ensure that lives and properties of people are protected at all costs. He also asked the administration to provide all essential supplies to the people on priority.

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