Minister for Disaster Management, Relief & Rehabilitation, Javaid Mustafa Mir today said that J&K being vulnerable to natural disasters owing to unique geo-climatic conditions and geographic location, the state government has devised a multi-pronged roadmap to deal with any eventuality.
Winding up the discussion on the discussion on demand for grants for Disaster Management, Relief & Rehabilitation & other allied departments in the Legislative Assembly, the Minister said that over the past two years, there is a paradigm shift in the approach of the government towards disaster management and it has flagged this important component in the highest priority.
The government has established a structured institutional mechanism to deal with disasters, under which, the State Disaster Management Authority is headed by Chief Minister.
With a view to provide professional assistance for strengthening state & District Disaster Management Authorities, 17 Disaster Management Professionals have also been engaged to assist the authorities, he said.
The Minister said to ensure safety of schools the Chief Education Officers have been designated as Nodal Officers.
Existing State Disaster Management Policy has been updated and State Disaster Management Plan, State Disaster Management Policy, District Disaster Management Plans have also been prepared and notified, the Minister informed.
With regard to Civil Defence, the Minister said that the state has in place two dedicated Battalions of the State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) and it has also initiated the process for upgrading the SDRF with adequate manpower, capacity building and equipment support. Besides this, we are also supporting Fire & Emergency Services in order to strengthen and upgrade the force, with the latest rescue equipments, he added.
"Instructions have been given to all DCs to identify 300 volunteers so that they may be trained in disaster response and will be equipped with personal rescue equipments to make them able to respond in the event of any disaster, as first responders," he informed.
The Minister said that under SDRF, Rs 15.00 crore has been released during current financial year to meet any contingency arising due to natural calamities, while under PMDP, Rs 54.29 crore was released to I&FC department for permanent restoration of flood damaged infrastructure.
He said that Rs 14.14 crore has been released as State Disaster Mitigation Fund of which Rs 58.75 lakh were provided to each Deputy Commissioner, to spend 50% for procurement of emergency rescue equipments and rest on other components for strengthening SDMA and DDMAs.
The Minister informed the House that Rs 1839.17 crore has been paid to more than 1 lakh and 81 thousand eligible beneficiaries who were affected during 2014 floods 2014:
"The damages in losses to certain sectors are also being covered under the Prime Minister's Package", he added.