Lieutenant Governor, GC Murmu on Monday chaired a high-level meeting of officers to review flood preparation and response mechanism in place in Kashmir division.
Speaking on the occasion, Lieutenant Governor stated that the Government shall have to be fully prepared to deal with any eventuality that may arise due to a flood-like situation.
He called upon the Irrigation & Flood Control department, Divisional Administration, Srinagar Municipal Corporation and SDRF to devise flood management and mitigation plans immediately. LG impressed on taking proactive measures to augment effective flood preparation and response.
Stressing on foolproof flood preparedness, the LG directed concerned to take up all urgent works immediately to ensure that works are completed in time for prompt flood response. Instructions were also given on raising of embankments at all vulnerable spots, dredging of flood channels and stocking of sand bags and keep men and machinery in ready mode to deal with flood like situation emerging anywhere in the Valley.
LG urged for the strengthening of the flood monitoring system with the installation of solar operated CCTVs, advanced flood alertness, installation of automatic rain recording and flood gauges at identified locations.
Directions were passed for the strengthening of 24×7 flood control room with all arrangements for prompt relief and rescue operations. LG said that the capacity of Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) at Hari Niwas should be augmented, made fully functional and it should be connected with other control rooms through hotline communication facility.
While reviewing pace of execution of flood-related works, LG directed resuming work on Sharief-Abad and Naidkhai bridges at an earliest, which would help remove obstructions in the flow of water, he asked for facilitating the contractors by mobilizing manpower and material supplies for these projects to ensure that work is commenced immediately while taking all necessary precautions like social distancing, providing masks and protective gear to the workforce.
LG emphasized on the resumption of dredging work in all water bodies including flood spill channel, river and lakes and removal of encroachments on water channels. He directed on prioritizing dredging of Wular lake and asked the concerned to ensure manual dredging under MGNREGA to generate man-days days for locals during Covid-19 lockdown.
In view of social distancing protocol, presently in place, he directed concerned to increase the capacity of evacuation centres used as rescue shelters for the affected people at the time of floods. He instructed for putting in place all the arrangements including masks, sanitizers and other supplies of personal hygiene. Special teams including that of doctors shall be designated for all vulnerable areas and rescue shelters in advance. SDRF was instructed to ensure training of personnel from Police and Home Guards for a prompt response during floods.
During the meeting, SMC was directed to ensure immediately de-clogging of all rainstorm drains in the city besides installation of solar-powered high mast lights in all flood-prone areas for the hassle-free evacuation during floods. Instructions were given for procurement of disinfectants to be used in the event of floods to contain water-borne diseases.
He also directed for the printing of SOPs in a booklet form with contact details of all concerned officers, officials and designated teams.
He said that CAMPA funds can be used for building check dams in catchments areas to prevent flood-like situations.
As advance flood mitigation plan, LG instructed concerned to ensure that all installed machinery is shifted to upper floors of hospitals and other essential government buildings in low lying areas including civil secretariat. Regarding the protection of important installations like Telephone Exchanges, and other Lifeline buildings, LG instructed that important equipment be relocated so that critical equipment does not get submerged in the event of floods.
Speaking on the occasion, Chief Secretary directed the concerned departments to activate the advance warning systems pertaining to weather alert, evacuation alert. He stated that the capacity of Rescue Shelters has to be augmented with all critical equipment like tents, standby power, fuel and essential items like ration, drinking water. He said that rescue teams should be in a high level of preparedness and mock drills should be conducted. Chief Secretary said that a senior Secretary-level officer based in Srinagar shall be assigned the task of monitoring the flood preparedness activities of all concerned departments. He said that manpower plan outlining officials to be put on job, duties assigned and their contact numbers should be prepared.
Earlier, Commissioner Secretary, Jal Shakti Ajeet Kumar Sahu, through a PowerPoint presentation deliberated upon the flood preparation, mitigation and response plan. He said that there is an advanced flood alert system in place and work on increasing intake capacity of water bodies is being focused across the valley. He informed that Flood Plain Zone mapping is being completed and it would be shared with the concerned Departments. He added that the Jhelum’s carrying capacity has been raised from 32000 cusec to 42000 cusec and the target is to take it to 60000 cusec.
The meeting was attended by Advisors, Baseer Ahmad Khan, Rajeev Bhatnagar, Chief Secretary BVR Subrahmanyam, Financial Commissioner Health & Medical Education Atal Dulloo, Principal Secretary, Information Department Rohit Kansal, Commissioner Secretary Jal Shakti, Ajeet Kumar Sahu, Divisional Commissioner Kashmir PK Pole, DG SDRF, IG Police Vijay Kumar, DC Srinagar Shahid Iqbal Chowdary, Chief Engineer I&FC Mir Mohammad Shahnawaz, SMC Commissioner Srinagar, Gazanfar Ali and other officers.