Srinagar- State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) has geared itself up in and around the Dal Lake in view of the inclement weather.
The force has, however, said that despite prior warnings issued by the weather department, some Shikara owners take tourists for rides inside the lake, risking their lives.
A senior SDRF official said they are a reactive force and mainly come up when there is any major calamity or disaster.
“For the Dal Lake, it is not our domain to restrict anyone from boarding Shikara or any boat even during severe weather situations,” he said. “Our job is to react to major disasters and we are always ready for that.”
“Whether they agree or violate the warnings, we have to be ready for our job,” the official added.
He said it is always a challenging task to carry out a rescue operation in quick time as there is no scope for delay in such situations.
Another SDRF official of SDRF stationed at Dal Lake said that on Thursday afternoon, as the gusty winds engulfed the lake, a team of 9 personnel pressed into their boats to rescue the trapped visitors in the waters.
“We rescued around 29 tourists, and the rescue operation took us around half an hour to take everyone out of the water amid the fast-blowing winds,” he said, adding that during the process, the river police also pressed in their men and machinery to rescue the trapped tourists.
Whether there is a warning or not, we keep our men and machinery on standby mode as soon as there is any thick cloud cover over the lake’s area, the official added.
Srinagar’s weather station in its daily forecast had said that from May 25 to 26, there is a possibility of “fairly widespread to widespread intermittent light to moderate rain/thunder/lightning with the possibility of hailstorm and gusty winds at few places”
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