Governor alerts Army, NDRF, CAPFs; calls for coordination

Flood situation reviewed at high-level

Excelsior Correspondent
JAMMU, June 30: Governor NN Vohra, his Advisors-BB Vyas and K Vijay Kumar and Chief Secretary BVR Subrahmanyam reviewed flood situation in the State at high-level meetings even as Army, NDRF and Central para-military forces have been alerted to remain in state of preparedness to meet with any eventuality along with Jammu and Kashmir Police and civil administration.

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Vohra convened a meeting at Raj Bhavan this morning as reports started emanating about increase in water levels of rivers Jhelum and Tawi and major Nallahs in both the regions and make preparations in advance to meet the threat of floods.
Sources said keeping in mind the devastation caused by 2014 floods, the Government didn’t take any chance and immediately alerted NDRF, Army and Central Armed Police Forces on the flood threat and asked them to be prepared for rescue operations any time.
The Government also mobilized rescue teams and boats for evacuation, provision of pumps to de-water the localities, electric power back-up etc and called for coordination among all agencies, which were alerted to meet with any kind of situation.
The Governor directed the administration to ensure timely weather alerts to all the pilgrims of Shri Amarnath Ji yatra and called for making all arrangements for their safety and security in view of suspension of yatra due to heavy rains.
The meeting also took stock of the provisioning of dry rations, medicines and positioning of basic facilities like tents, blankets and toilets etc at the designated relief centers and in the buildings earmarked for the evacuated population.
The Governor directed the Chief Secretary to put in place a reliable communication system for the senior officers who are at the helm for managing a flood situation; closely monitor water levels at Dal lake and check the proper functioning of the lake’s water gates; devise an effective arrangement for the prompt mobilization of rescue teams; advance positioning of boats; ensure availability of doctors within 15 minutes for emergency duties and timely alerts for areas which are under  possible flood threat along with their identified evacuation sites.
He directed Basheer Khan, Divisional Commissioner Kashmir, to alert ground level staff who would perform emergency duties and set up Joint Control Rooms with all concerned agencies.
Secretary DMR&R was directed to mobilize all concerned persons who would be involved in Disaster Management and provide three daily reports on various parameters to enable close monitoring of the situation. Commissioner Flood and Irrigation Department was directed to inspect all the bunds in the flood alert areas and immediately repair those which are prone to breach.
The Governor directed that similar action should be taken for the flood prone areas in Jammu division and all agencies to be kept at a high level of preparedness to deal with any exigency. He advised that the ground level staff of Flood and Irrigation Department should remain alert and promptly report the gauge readings at different places and immediate directions should be given by the head offices to all the field officers for mobilization of the required men and materials.
Meanwhile, Vohra undertook an extended tour of  Srinagar city and its outskirts, visited  Boulevard Road, Hydraulic Gauge  Centre  of river Jhelum at Ram Munshi Bagh; Lasjan,  and relief camps in Rawal Pora and Ram Bagh areas for a first hand view of the ground situation consequent  to Jhelum rising above high flood levels. He inspected the Administration’s preparedness to evacuate people if Srinagar gets flooded.
Vohra inspected the designated relief camps at the Tourism Department’s Community Centre Goripora, Government Boys Higher Secondary School Rawal Pora and the ERA Complex in the Shopping Complex building at Ram Bagh.  Divisional Commissioner Baseer Khan explained the basic facilities  being provided at these sites.
He instructed M. Raju, Commissioner, PHE, Flood and Irrigation Department, to immediately ensure adequate availability of sand bags and other required materials for ensuring immediate repair of any breach in the Jhelum Bund.
Advisor, K Vijay Kumar and Chief Secretary B V R Subrahmanyam also called an emergency meeting of senior officers of the civil and police Administration and also the Army early this morning to review the preparedness across Kashmir division, in particular Srinagar City, in the wake of flood like situation following incessant rains.
The Advisor and Chief Secretary took a detailed review of the preparations and received brief from the concerned officers/line departments. The Advisor and Chief Secretary issued a slew of directions/instructions to the concerned officers for immediate compliance which interalia, include alerting the people living in the low lying/ vulnerable areas, to be vigilant about the flood situation and be in preparedness for evacuation-currently, this is only an alert for being prepared and people should be on the lookout for the next alert for evacuation, if necessary, establishing joint control room with components from civil, police, CRPF and Army at Hari Niwas and disseminating contact details to the public, all relief and rescue material- men, boats etc to be kept in readiness to promptly respond to any evacuation call, the Divisional Commissioner to put competent ADMs/SDMs at the disposal of DC Srinagar  immediately, to facilitate coordination in the matters relating to control room, evacuation, recue, relief etc, civil and police administration to prepare for communication redundancies, civil administration to prepare for redundancies related to essential supplies including power, ration, fuel and medicine, DC Srinagar to ensure that shelters/evacuation centres are ready with basic facilities  like food, water, blankets etc for housing people,  in the event of evacuation of people and Principal Secretary Home, Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir, IG Kashmir, DC Srinagar in coordination with Information Department to disseminate information through electronic and print media to the public about the flood situation in the division.
Meanwhile, Advisor to Governor, BB Vyas said the administration is fully geared to tackle the situation in view of the looming flood- threat in Kashmir following incessant rains and rising water levels in the rivers and Nallahs. He said while there is no need to panic, but people should take precautions.
“Jammu and Kashmir has witnessed heavy rainfall starting from 7 pm on June 28, 2018 resulting in rising water levels,” Vyas told media. He was flanked by Advisor, K Vijay Kumar and Chief Secretary BVR Subrahmanyam.
He informed that 53 mm of rainfall has been recorded in three districts including Shopian and Anantnag and Srinagar.  He said the people have been warned to remain alert and be ready in case of any possibility of evacuation.
The Advisor said as the water level rose above the danger mark at Sangam in South Kashmir as well the water level continues to rise at Ram Munshi Bagh in Srinagar, Government has set up round-the-clock multi-disciplinary monitoring system in various parts of the State.
“We have the reports that due the incessant rains from last couple of days, lot of damage is caused damage in Shopian and other south Kashmir areas. The administration has alerted people to remain alert but don’t panic,” he said.
“Due to the heavy rainfall, the water flow in river Jhelum has gone upto 50000 cusecs against the carrying capacity of 35000 cusecs and the water level at Ram Munshi Bagh in Srinagar till early morning today was upto 20.82,” he said.
He said 7 teams of State Disaster Response Force and two teams of National Disaster Response Force are in place for rescue and relief operation beside this control rooms have been set up at district and divisional headquarters to meet any eventuality. He added that 140 NDRF and SDRF experts have been directed to remain vigilant to tackle the situation.
He informed that in Srinagar, Government has created 44 shelter sheds and relief teams are now in place. The Advisor said that the Chief Secretary has issued orders that all the essential services including supply of rations is ensured to the people.
“The next challenge that we face now is heavy water logging in urban areas. 15 heavy duty and 40 small water pumps are in place in Srinagar city and SMC has been directed to monitor the functioning of these pumps,” he said.
The Advisor informed that the three deaths have been reported from Jammu province in which one lady lost her life from falling of tree. District and divisional teams have been activated there also. There are also reports of loss of livestock and damage to Kacha houses. He said the Revenue teams are accessing the damage caused due to the flood like situation, adding that in this course whatever relief and whatever admissible assistance is permissible shall be distributed among the affected victims.
The Advisor informed that the weather is expected to improve soon. He said the administration is keenly monitoring the situation. People living in low-lying areas have been asked to be prepared for evacuation in case of an emergency.
Chief Secretary B V R Subrahmanyam said that he is personally monitoring the preparedness of the administration and is in touch with all the concerned to handle the situation effectively.
He said the situation is under control and there was only a flood alert so that the people take necessary precautions.
The Chief Secretary said the Government and its entire machinery is monitoring the situation closely.  “There is no need for anybody to have any sense of apprehension or panic about the developing situation,” Subrahmanyam said. He said if the situation worsens the Government will handle the situation effectively. “As of now things are normal and are in control, besides the Government and entire machinery is alert,” he added.
The CS said that the people living in areas along the embankments of river Jhelum, other streams and in low lying areas have been asked to remain vigilant.
Newly appointed Advisor to Governor, Khurshid Ganai, this morning chaired a meeting to take stock of flood control operations underway in Srinagar being directed from the control room set up at Hari Niwas here.
The meeting was informed that 12 relief camps for rehabilitation have been established at critical locations in Srinagar. It was said the relief camps have been equipped with shelter sheds, blankets, food, water, toilets, gen-sets, medical teams as well as trucks loaded with boats. Operations at each camp are being overseen by a camp in-charge to ensure organized operations.
It was said another 32 relief camps are being identified for establishment across the Srinagar district.