LG Declares 'heavy Snowfall' As State Specific Natural Calamity10 January 2021
Jammu: Lieutenant Governor (LG), Manoj Sinha on Sunday declared 'heavy snowfall' as state specific natural calamity under State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF) norms. The LG was chairing a meeting to take stock of the winter management, particularly snow clearance efforts of Administration, with all deputy commissioners (DC) and senior superintendent police Senior Superintendent of Police (SSPs) of Kashmir Division, through virtual mode, at the Raj Bhavan here today. The 'heavy snowfall' was not in the list of 'natural calamities' under SDRF norms, due to which disbursement of relief and ex-gratia for the damages due to heavy snowfall was not possible for the Districts' Disaster Management Authorities. As per the official statement with the declaration processing of ex-gratia relief under SDRF will become faster. The LG sought a detailed report on issues and problems faced by the public due to heavy snowfall and future course of action of the administration at all levels to overcome the challenges thereof. On this occasion, the LG also directed that 4x4 rescue vehicles - ambulances be provided to snow affected districts with immediate effect for helping the people in distress. The directions were issued after he was apprised about the shortage of small rescue vehicles for the movement of people requiring medical assistance, particularly, in remote areas and areas having narrow lanes. He asked the officers to be more sensitive and responsive to the issues of the public and take requisite measures to minimize the difficulties of common people. 'Be visible and take early measures. Need more feet on the ground. Quickly reach out to the people to address their needs and requirements', the LG directed the officers. He lauded the efforts of employees working 24x7 on ground in challenging climatic conditions. The LG directed for rationalizing deployment of machinery and equipment for snow clearance from the roads, besides making necessary emergency facilities available to render critical help in contingent situations. Taking cognizance of media reports, social media posts and grievances received from the public, the Lt Governor asked the administration to identify gaps and take immediate corrective measures to fill the same to redress the concerning issues of the people. He also directed the officers to continuously monitor the situation and work in synergy with various departments to avoid any inconvenience to the people. During the meeting, the LG also emphasized on provision of all basic services to the people, in particular, power, water, road connectivity, food, LPG and other essential commodities without any interruption. He further directed the officers to keep a check on the increase in prices of essential commodities, if any, and take corrective measures. He also assessed the implementation of the directions passed in previous winter preparedness meetings. Rajeev Rai Bhatnagar, Advisor to the LG; BVR Subrahmanyam, Chief Secretary; Rohit Kansal, Principal Secretary, Power Development Department and Information Department; Sh. Shailendra Kumar, Principal Secretary, Public Works (R&B) Department; Pandurang K. Pole, Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir; M Raju, Secretary, Jal Shakti Department; Deputy Commissioners and SSPs of Kashmir Division attended the meeting, in person and through video conferencing.