State’s Response to Future Floods: Watch and Ward,Effective Community Participation

Srinagar—Kashmir’s vulnerability to severe flooding was spectacularly demonstrated only three year ago. Memories of people struggling to cope with the effects of intense rainfall in 2014 are still afresh along with poor state response to handle the weather event, eventually described as “too huge a catastrophe to be prevented by the government.” 

To meet the future challenges, the State Disaster Management, Relief, Rehabilitation and Reconstruction Department has decided to involve committees of local mosques, gurudwaras, temples and churches. It has also decided to train local volunteers to meet any exigency during the natural event.

Besides, a State Disaster Management Authority meeting chaired by the Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti recently also decided that mitigation, preparedness and response plan shall be prepared on scientific lines, inter alia, including traditional methods of “watch and ward, and effective community participation.” The meeting also decided that for inventory of resources, divisional Commissioners of both Jammu and Kashmir divisions shall undertake inventorisation of resources, district wise and department wise.

“The inventory shall indicate the complete details of trained manpower, resources and equipments available with each department. It shall also be prepared of the resources, machinery available in private sector, indicating the source and their contact details,” reads the minutes of meeting accessed by Kashmir Observer. 

Regarding a token amount of Rs. 25 crore for State Disaster Mitigation Fund, the meeting “after due deliberations decided that the source of funding shall be as: Rs. 3.40 Crore—(13th Finance Commission), Rs. 3.30 Crore (Finance Capex); Rs.10 Crore (SDRF Funds); Rs 5 Crore (Planning Capex) and Rs. 3.30 Crore (Planning RE).

The meeting also decided that Rs. 1 Crore shall be placed at the disposal of each Deputy

Commissioner, as District Disaster Mitigation Fund and 50% of it will be spent for critical rescue equipments, 20% for capacity building, 20% for innovative projects involving community based disaster preparedness projects and 10% for ‘IEC’ activities.

Besides, it decided that Deputy Commissioners shall submit proposals for the activities, through Divisional Commissioners, to the state executive committee for approval.

Also, Rs.1.00 Crore shall be placed at the disposal of each Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir/ Jammu for mitigation purposes. 

Lastly, the meeting decided that Rs 1 Crore shall be utilized for meeting disaster mitigation needsof UEED and SMC. “DPRs shall be prepared by UEED and SMC and submitted to the SEC through H&UD Department,” it added.


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