Amid flood threats, CAG exposes Government’s poor preparedness

Understaffed SDRF has rescue rangers who can’t swim

MUKEET AKMALI
Srinagar, Publish Date: Jul 18 2018 12:51AM | Updated Date: Jul 18 2018 12:56AM
Amid flood threats, CAG exposes Government’s poor preparednessFile Photo

Despite the stark reminder thrown up by the recent eruption in the river Jhelum, the government's rescue preparedness is alarmingly slack. According to the Comptroller Auditor General's report, the state's crucial rescue agency State Disaster Response Force is too understaffed to respond to the challenges of rescue and evacuation operations during floods. 

On the lines of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), the state government had in 2012 established the SDRF out of the existing two battalions of the Auxiliary Police, with one stationed in Kashmir and the other one in Jammu. According to the CAG report, against the sanctioned strength of 1588 personnel, the actual strength of the Force is 1142, of which only 358 personnel (31 percent) were actually deployed in its units. 

“SDRF is understaffed, which definitely means its response at the time of eventualities will be not up to the mark. Although the government is claiming to have kept SDRF battalions on standby mode to meet flood threat, lack of manpower hampers its efficiency,” said a senior official.

Earlier during the Assembly session, former minister Basharat Bukhari, while mocking at the SDRF's lack of preparedness had remarked that only five of the 50 SDRF men, deployed to save lives, could swim during a mock drill. "How could they respond to a disaster like floods," Bukhari had quipped.

J&K state is prone to various natural and manmade disasters with the Kashmir Valley falling the most severe seismic zone-V. The frequency of earthquakes has also increased in recent past causing concern .

Commandant of the SDRF's Kashmir Battalion, Bashir Ahmad admitted that SDRF was understaffed. “However, we are recruiting 400 constables to reduce the manpower deficit. In Jammu the recruitment process has been completed. But in Kashmir we are conducting interviews till 23 July, by the beginning of next month we will complete the recruitment process.”

The CAG in its report has remarked that the purpose of creation of the Force had been defeated.

“Not only was the SDRF significantly short of its sanctioned strength by 28 percent, the bulk of the available manpower was neither fully trained nor deployed for disaster relief and rehabilitation thereby defeating the objective of creation of the Force,” the report reads.

Chief Secretary, B V R Subrahmanyam Monday chaired a meeting of the State Executive Committee (SEC) of the State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF). In a significant decision, the Committee approved enhancement of funds from Rs 50 Lakh to Rs 5 Crore, to be kept at the disposal of Deputy Commissioners for meeting out annual expenses, on account of notified natural calamities, as per SDRF guidelines. The Committee also discussed and approved notification of a few state specific disasters not included in the list of disasters. The norms for these would be identical to the existing SDRF norms.

Latest News

  1. Thousands march with bodies of two slain militants, civilian in Srinagar
  2. Thousands march with bodies of two slain militants, civilian in Srinagar
  1. 18 killed in Crimea college attack
  2. 18 killed in Crimea college attack
  1. Militant arrested in police chase after Pattan grenade attack
  2. Militant arrested in police chase after Pattan grenade attack
  1. Suspected militants attack army camp in Rafiabad
  2. Suspected militants attack army camp in Rafiabad
  1. Pakistan may buy Chinese missile 'better' than Brahmos
  2. Pakistan may buy Chinese missile 'better' than Brahmos
  1. Civilian injured in landmine blast near LoC in Mendhar
  2. Civilian injured in landmine blast near LoC in Mendhar
  1. Haj 2019 application process to start from Thursday
  2. Haj 2019 application process to start from Thursday
  1. MeToo campaign: M J Akbar resigns from government
  2. MeToo campaign: M J Akbar resigns from government
  1. Kashmiri students defer decision to leave AMU en masse
  2. Kashmiri students defer decision to leave AMU en masse
  1. 69 per cent of 598 wards in Kashmir Valley did not witness polling
  2. 69 per cent of 598 wards in Kashmir Valley did not witness polling
  1. Militants should not expect bouquets if they fire bullets: Governor Satya Pal Malik
  2. Militants should not expect bouquets if they fire bullets: Governor Satya Pal Malik
  1. Fateh Kadal gunfight: Role of Rayees Ahmad being investigated, says police
  2. Fateh Kadal gunfight: Role of Rayees Ahmad being investigated, says police
  1. Death toll in cyclone-hit Odisha rises to 52; damage put at Rs 2,200 crore
  2. Death toll in cyclone-hit Odisha rises to 52; damage put at Rs 2,200 crore
  1. Break your silence on Rafale deal: Congress tells Modi
  2. Break your silence on Rafale deal: Congress tells Modi
  1. Stay away from Fateh Kadal gunfight site: Kashmir Police issues advisory
  2. Stay away from Fateh Kadal gunfight site: Kashmir Police issues advisory
  1. UN allocates $34.6mn for drought-affected Afghans
  2. UN allocates $34.6mn for drought-affected Afghans
  1. Police officer among three cops injured in Pattan grenade attack
  2. Police officer among three cops injured in Pattan grenade attack
  1. Soldier arrested in Meerut for espionage
  2. Soldier arrested in Meerut for espionage
  1. JRL calls protest shutdown in Kashmir on Thursday
  2. JRL calls protest shutdown in Kashmir on Thursday
  1. Blast hits Afghan poll candidate's office
  2. Blast hits Afghan poll candidate's office
  1. Top LeT militant Mehraj Bangroo among four killed in Fateh Kadal gunfight: Police
  2. Top LeT militant Mehraj Bangroo among four killed in Fateh Kadal gunfight: Police
  1. Fateh Kadal gunfight: Two slain militants identified as Mehraj Bangroo, Faid Mushtaq Waza
  2. Fateh Kadal gunfight: Two slain militants identified as Mehraj Bangroo, Faid Mushtaq Waza
  1. KEG condemns attack on journalists in Fateh Kadal, demands action against guilty cops
  2. KEG condemns attack on journalists in Fateh Kadal, demands action against guilty cops
  1. Fateh Kadal gunfight over; two militants, civilian, policeman killed
  2. Fateh Kadal gunfight over; two militants, civilian, policeman killed
  1. Fateh Kadal gunfight fallout: Intense clashes break out in Khanyar
  2. Fateh Kadal gunfight fallout: Intense clashes break out in Khanyar
  1. Pakistan serial killer executed for raping, murdering 7-year-old girl
  2. Pakistan serial killer executed for raping, murdering 7-year-old girl
  1. Traffic temporarily suspended on Srinagar-Leh highway after fresh snowfall
  2. Traffic temporarily suspended on Srinagar-Leh highway after fresh snowfall
  1. Kashmir Press club condemns thrashing of journalists near Fateh Kadal gunfight site
  2. Kashmir Press club condemns thrashing of journalists near Fateh Kadal gunfight site
  1. Forces thrash journalists near gunfight site in Fateh Kadal
  2. Forces thrash journalists near gunfight site in Fateh Kadal
  1. Mysterious blast creates panic in Sopore in north Kashmir
  2. Mysterious blast creates panic in Sopore in north Kashmir
  1. Fateh Kadal gunfight: Class work suspended at Kashmir University
  2. Fateh Kadal gunfight: Class work suspended at Kashmir University
  1. Fateh Kadal gunfight fallout: Schools, colleges closed in Srinagar
  2. Fateh Kadal gunfight fallout: Schools, colleges closed in Srinagar
  1. Fateh Kadal gunfight: Internet service suspended in Srinagar
  2. Fateh Kadal gunfight: Internet service suspended in Srinagar
  1. Gunfight breaks out in Fateh Kadal area of Srinagar; Internet suspended, educational institutions closed
  2. Gunfight breaks out in Fateh Kadal area of Srinagar; Internet suspended, educational institutions closed
x
This site uses cookies to deliver our services and to show you relevant news and ads. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Service.That's Fine