Monday, June 15, 2009

SMVDSB seeks NIDM advice on disaster management

To improve disaster preparedness in respect of various probable natural or man-made disasters, particularly in the wake of the recent fire incidents in Katra town, Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board had sought the expertise of National Institute of Disaster Management (NIDM) to provide valuable inputs. 
A two-member team of experts comprising Mr. Shaleen Kabra, IAS, Joint Director, NIDM and Prof. Santosh Kumar, an international expert on disaster management, visited Katra and Bhawan from June 13 to 15. They carried out an extensive survey of the system in place and assessed the strengths and weaknesses to gauge the areas vulnerable to disasters.
After the preliminary survey, a joint meeting of important functionaries of SMVDSB, district administration and para-military forces with the experts of NIDM was held today. 
The meeting among others was attended by the Addl. Chief Executive Officer, Shrine Board, Dy. Commissioner, Reasi, Sr. Superintendent of Police, Reasi Commandant, CRPF, Block Medical Officer, Katra and officers of the Disaster Management Cell of the Shrine Board.  
The NIDM experts expressed satisfaction that the Shrine Board has already in place a well documented basic Disaster Management Plan (DMP) which can serve as a baseline for future improvement endeavours. The NIDM experts assured the district administration and Shrine Board authorities that all possible assistance by way of technical inputs, making available the services of experts, referrals to the appropriate agencies for training assessment / training courses etc. would be rendered by them.  
In addition, the NIDM experts also assured of their advice on finalizing the District Disaster Management Plan (DDMP) for District Reasi with particular focus on Katra and Shrine areas for meeting the challenges posed by any future disaster hazard. All agencies like CRPF, Health Department, etc. assured their full co-operation. 
A well documented and re-shaped Disaster Management Plan was agreed to be framed by the NIDM at the earliest on the basis of inputs gathered during the visit of the experts. The initiative / inputs of National Institute of Disaster Management (NIDM), shall certainly help in effectively handling various kinds of disasters with the pre-specified role of various agencies of the Government and the Shrine Board.

Altaf for close liason between Forest & PWD

Nearly Rs. 46.11 crore is being expended on the different road construction works in Kalakote and Nowshera tehsils of Rajouri district under PMGSY.
This was informed to Minister for Forest Mian Altaf Ahmad at a high level meeting to review the development works in Kalakote and Nowshera tehsils of Rajouri district here today. 
The meeting was convened as part of the summer secretariat proceedings started by the present government to address the problems of people of Jammu division after the darbar shifted to summer capital Srinagar.
Chief Conservator of Forest, Mr. Abhay Kumar, District Development Commissioner (DDC), Rajouri, S. Jaipal Singh, SEs of PWD, PHE, PMGSY and senior field officers of Nowshera and Kalakote tehsils attended the meeting.
During the meeting, it was apprised that while 15 road construction works are in progress under phase VI, five are in phase V and one each is in phases IV and III respectively of the PMGSY in Kalakote and Nowshera. In addition to these, two new schemes worth Rs. 4 crore have been sanctioned under phase VII of PMGSY. .Besides 44 road works are being executed under NABARD which will considerably improve the road connectivity in these far-flung areas.
Deliberating on the Forest department’s land clearance cases, the minister was apprised that the major bottleneck impeding road works is the delay in getting clearance for the development works from the Forest department. The minister asked the Public Works department to furnish an exhausted report on the pending Forest clearance cases within a week.
The minister was apprised that out of the 29 cases of Forest clearance pending with the department, sanction has been accorded in 21 cases. The cases for which the sanction was withheld came under the forest land under prohibited trees like chir etc. The minister directed the PWD officers to conduct a fresh survey adding that in future PWD should work in close coordination with Forest department in formulation of infrastructure works so that bottlenecks in getting clearances can be avoided.
The DDC informed the minister that formalities under the land acquisition cases have been completed and Rs. 19.50 crore stands sanctioned which will soon be distributed to the beneficiaries. 
Directing the DDC to augment the power and water supply to the remote tehsils, the minister said that essential services like power and water are imperative for improving the living environment of the region. He asked the PDD and PHE department to accelerate the work on different schemes, adding that government is committed to ensure that all the regions of the state register themselves on the development radar.