JK Assembly passes grants for disaster management

The Jammu and Kashmir Assembly today passed the grants amounting to over Rs 1467.28 crore for disaster management, relief rehabilitation, reconstruction and floriculture departments.

The grants were passed by voice vote this evening amid protests by opposition members over the killing of a civilian, following an ongoing encounter between militants and security forces in Shopian district of south Kashmir.

Minister for disaster management, relief and rehabilitation and floriculture Javaid Mustafa Mir said J-K being vulnerable to natural disasters owing to unique geo- climatic conditions and geographic location, the state government has devised a multi-pronged roadmap to deal with any eventuality.

"Over the past two years, the government has brought about a paradigm shift in the approach to disaster management. Development cannot be sustainable unless disaster mitigation is built into the development process," he said.

The minister said the government has learnt lessons from the previous disasters and has taken several preventive steps to minimise the human as well as property losses.

Listing some major and visionary initiatives taken by the government to deal with the natural disasters, the minister said now the focus has been shifted from traditional relief distribution towards, disaster-preparedness and mitigation.

"The government has established a structured institutional mechanism to deal with disasters, under which, the state disaster management authority is headed by the chief minister," he said.

Further to the next level, the divisional disaster management authorities established for effective and efficient management of disasters and at the lower level, district disaster management authorities have also been strengthened.

With a view to provide professional assistance for strengthening state and district disaster management authorities, 17 disaster management professionals have also been engaged to assist the authorities, he said.

The minister said to ensure the safety of schools the chief education officers have been designated as nodal officers.

The existing state disaster management policy has been updated and state disaster management plan, state disaster management policy, district disaster management plans have also been prepared and notified, the minister said.

With regard to civil defence, he said that the state has in place two dedicated battalions of the state disaster response force (SDRF) and it has also initiated the process for upgrading the SDRF with adequate manpower, capacity building and equipment support.

"Besides this, we are also supporting the Fire and Emergency Services in order to strengthen and upgrade the force, with the latest rescue equipments," he added.

Mir said J-K is amongst the first few states in the country to have initiated the disaster mitigation fund and finance minister Haseeb Drabu has already kept a budgetary provision of Rs 10 crore under the head.

Spelling out the various initiatives taken for Kashmiri migrants during 2017, he said that the prime minister's package for the return and rehabilitation of Kashmiri migrants has been a key initiative aimed at ensuring the dignified return of the Kashmiri Pandit families to the Valley.

In 2017-18, as many as 3,000 additional supernumerary posts have been created under the programme, in various departments.

Out of 3,000 posts, 2,575 posts have been referred to the concerned recruiting agencies and will be filled up shortly, he added.

He said that out of 3,000 posts created earlier, selection and appointment orders have been issued in favour of more than 2,900 candidates till December, 2017.

Besides, this various developmental initiatives have also been undertaken at various Kashmiri Pandit townships and settlements, he said.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)