Snow and Complacency

A welcome heavy snowfall in most of Kashmir valley, Ladakh and parts of Jammu has brought cheers to the people in the state. Such heavy snowfall also brings difficulties and miseries to the people, especially to those living in isolated villages and sub regions. As snow accumulates in narrow lanes of Srinagar city and other towns mobility gets badly affected. Although the state has made some modest progress in institutionalizing disaster preparedness and planning in recent years, a coordinated approach towards contingency planning among various agencies and departments is still a far cry. It is indeed remarkable that we have now a decent system of early severe weather warning in place. What is visible, however, is that such system of early warning and information dissemination is still not taken seriously by some government agencies. If reports from various areas of the State, including the capital Srinagar, are any indicator, electric supply has been badly affected. Reports of timely removal of snow from key roads are reassuring but there is no room for complacency. All the concerned government agencies must optimally mobilize their resources to ensure that the challenges created by the snow are addressed at the earliest and efficiently. Equally important is to keep the Srinagar Jammu highway open and not let scarcity of essential commodities take over. A strong oversight mechanism needs to be put in place to see to it that the normal chaos that scarcity of cooking gas creates in such situations does not happen this time round. What is also critical is keep medical services, especially emergency services, running. The Power Department must mobilize swiftly to fix the damaged power distribution systems and restore power to all public utilities and homes. For all this to happen, chief minister Omar Abdullah must create a special over sight system. In a highly hierarchical government system like ours expecting systems to work on their own will be unrealistic.

Lastupdate on : Fri, 18 Jan 2013 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Fri, 18 Jan 2013 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Sat, 19 Jan 2013 00:00:00 IST

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