Doda earthquake: Omar Takes Appraisal of Rehab Measures

DODA: Chief Minister Omar Abdullah Thursday directed three Ministers to be stationed at Doda, Badharwah and Kishtwar to oversee the relief and rehabilitation measures put in place by the State Government for earthquake hit people of these districts.

Minister for Planning and Development, Ajay Sadhotra will stay at Badharwah, Minister for R&B, Abdul Majid Wani at Doda and Minister of State for Home, Sajjad Ahmad Kichloo at Kishtwar. During their stay the Ministers would concentrate on relief programme and address the difficulties of earthquake affected families. Omar Abdullah also kept State Helicopter at their disposal to visit affected inaccessible and remote areas.

The Chief Minister has already sanctioned Rs. 25 crores for earthquake hit areas which have been released to the concerned Deputy Commissioners for prompt restoration of public services.

Omar has also announced three months free ration for the affected families and directed the concerned to move ahead for purchase of tents as also finalizing damage assessment report as quickly as possible.

Taking appraisal of the rescue, relief and rehabilitation programme undertaken by the District Administration in the quake hit areas at three separate meetings of officers he chaired on Thursday at Doda, Badharwah and Kishtwar, the Chief Minister said that besides demanding Ladakh type relief package for the earthquake affected people of Doda, Badharwah, Kishtwar and Ramban from the Centre, the State Government would mobilize its own resources to provide best possible relief to the affected for reconstruction of their damaged structures.

Expressing sigh of relief over the minimal loss of precious human lives in the erstwhile Doda District earthquake as compared to that of 2005 earthquake Kupwara, Baramulla and other parts of the State and 2010 cloud burst in Leh, the Chief Minister said that damaged structures could be rebuilt once again but the loss of lives cannot be retrieved. He expressed grief over the loss of one human life in the earthquake, conveyed his sympathy to the bereaved family, prayed for peace to departed soul and also wished complete recovery of all injured in the natural calamity.

As per reports one person has lost life and about 90 received injuries in the earthquake of 5.8-magnitude on the Richter Scale which struck districts of Doda, Ramban and Kishtwar and adjacent areas at around 12.27 p.m. on 1st May 2013. All the injured after receiving treatment in various hospitals have been discharged.

Omar appreciated the administration for showing quick response to the need of the hour and added that completion of final damage assessment report within the two weeks period by the officials in these difficult districts would be a commendable task. “This would form necessary base for the demand of the State Government to be taken up with the Centre Government for providing relief to the affected families”, he said and added that finalizing a report of such a nature in shortest possible time will be a praiseworthy task by the officials. However, the Chief Minister emphasized on ensuring that no affected person or family remains missing from the assessment report and asked the Administration to be alert in this regard.

The Chief Minister also referred to the response shown by the public representatives during the time of difficulty and remaining in touch with people and the Administration for ensuring early rescue and relief. Lauding their role, he asked them to provide necessary feed back to the Government alongwith their suggestions for carrying forward rehabilitation programme.

Omar said that during the visit of Union Health Minister to the affected areas, he has assured all possible help from the Centre. He said State Government would utilize his good office for receiving Leh type package for the quake hit population in these three districts from the Centre Government. He said that District Administration has furnished immediate requirement for 2400 tents in first place, of which 1000 tents have been despatched by the Red Cross Society and he has also directed for purchase of tents.

“Unlike 2005 earthquake in Kashmir and 2010 cloud burst in Leh, the earthquake in erstwhile Doda District on 1st May 2013 is not followed by the winter, as such, permanent rehabilitation programme and reconstruction of damaged structures could be smooth and quake”, he said and directed the Administration to focus on this aspect adding that the State Government would provide all possible help for the purpose.

“Soon I heard about the unfortunate calamity, I directed Minister of State for Home and Divisional Commissioner to visit the area and concentrate on hassle-free rescue and relief. I also directed for early preparation of preliminary assessment of damage so that necessary succour to the affected families is ensured as quickly as possible”, he said and added that in the meeting of State Disaster Management Committee, he sanctioned Rs. 25 crores and free ration for three months for affected areas and kept more money available to be released as per the requirement. He said initial relief under Calamity Relief Fund is always less but the package the State Government is preparing for Government of India will be of Leh pattern. He reiterated that the State Government would provide every help to the affected families.

Omar said that as per the assessment reports school buildings have been largely and disproportionately damaged as compared to other structures which need to be looked into. “We have to ascertain why this has happened and what the cause is for it?” he said and directed the Planning Minister to engage independent third party for ascertaining the reason behind this.

The meetings were attended by Minister for Planning and Development, Ajay Sadhotra, Minister for R&B, Abdul Majid Wani, Minister of State for Home, Sajjad Ahmad Kichloo, Legislators, DIG Police, concerning Deputy Commissioners and District Officers.

The Chief Minister also interacted with affected families, senior citizens and individuals. He met deputations and also inspected the damaged structures during his visit to these areas. 

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