JK ill-equipped to face disasters: Bukhari

The government has admitted that the frequency of tremors has increased and the state was ill prepared to face a disastrous quake.
JK ill-equipped to face disasters: Bukhari
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The government has admitted that the frequency of tremors has increased and the state was ill prepared to face a disastrous quake. 

Replying to a query of Ajatshatru Singh about earthquakes in JK, the minister of Revenue, Basharat Bukhari in his reply said that JK state is a multi-hazard prone state vulnerable to both the natural and manmade disasters.

"The valley falls in the most severe seismic zone –V and the rest of the state falls in zone-IV. The frequency of earthquakes has increased in recent past which is alarming," he said. 

"Till now there was no budgetary support for disaster management preparedness," said the minister on the floor of Legislative Council, adding that the state's SDRF force was ill-equipped.

"Recently one of our officers conducted a mock drill for SDRF forces which are recruited to save lives during disasters, but you would be surprised to know that of 50 personnel only 5 could swim," he said adding that what could they do in times of floods and how can they save lives.

While interrupting the speech of the minister, members of the upper house raised concern over report by the U.S Scientists about a major earthquake, measuring 8 or greater, could strike Jammu and Kashmir soon.

The report mentions that this earthquake could endanger the lives of as many as a million people, a new geologic mapping in the Himalayan Mountains has suggested.

He added that till now no funds were earmarked for emergency operation centres or district emergency operations centres.

"Everything was on paper, I can tell that all that was stated was on papers as there were no funds for such activities," he said adding that previous government had formulated State Disaster Management Plan which the government is implementing in toto.

"Recently I had a meeting with CM and appraised her of the situation, following which she assured of funds for disaster management preparedness from Planning Head," he said adding that the government will be allocated from this year so that the work on all the proposals to face disasters is undertaken.

He said that the government will establish control room at Budgam for which land has been earmarked, so that in times of disasters cabinet can also meet there and operate from there.

He further informed the House, that World Bank has sanctioned Rs 150 crore for strengthening of embankments, monitoring earthquakes, floods in a systematic manner.

"Further the committee will be formed, which will monitor who the constructions in seismic zone in order to ensure seismic proof constructions," he added.

Regarding what technologies and latest equipments have installed to counter any exigency, he said in order to create a mechanism integrated with overall disaster management plan of the state to receive forecasting and early warnings from the Nodal agencies such as NDMA, IMD etc.

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