Other hilly States obtain nearly Rs 100 cr each
CS takes serious note, asks DMRR Deptt to prepare DPRs
JAMMU, Aug 27: Though major parts of the State experience landslides during the monsoon and periods of intense rains yet it has failed to obtain any benefit of National Landslide Risk Mitigation Project being run by the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) till date.
This has been viewed seriously by the Chief Secretary B V R Subrahmanyam, who has now directed the Department of Disaster Management and Relief and Rehabilitation to prepare the Detailed Project Reports (DPRs) strictly as per the guidelines of the NDMA and submit the same for approval and funding.
Official sources told EXCELSIOR that National Landslide Risk Mitigation Project (NLRMP) approved by the erstwhile Planning Commission of India is being run by NDMA and almost all the hilly States are obtaining benefit of this scheme for mitigation of risks due to landslides.
However, Jammu and Kashmir has not obtained any major benefit of this scheme till date despite the fact that major parts of the State experience landslides during the rainy reasons and cause economic losses due to snapping of road link besides disrupting normal life for days together , sources said
“The non-serious approach towards obtaining benefit of this scheme is notwithstanding the fact that officers from the State participated in the discussions on landslides risk mitigation conducted by NDMA a number of times and even contributed to the development of guidelines of the scheme”, they informed.
Only some site specific projects prepared by Shri Mata Vaishnodevi Shrine Board and Shri Amarthnathji Shrine Board have been cleared by the NDMA under the scheme as far as Jammu and Kashmir State is concerned, sources informed.
“The States having topography similar to that of Jammu and Kashmir have taken Rs 100 crore each under landslides mitigation scheme but J&K has done nothing”, the Chief Secretary has mentioned in a communication addressed to the Department of Disaster Management and Relief and Rehabilitation.
He has issued directions for preparation of Detailed Project Reports (DPRs) for major landslides prone areas of the State and submission of the same to the NDMA for approval and funding so that J&K also falls in line with other hilly States in obtaining benefit of the scheme.
This has also established that Chief Secretary is not only laying thrust on the strict implementation of those Centrally Sponsored Schemes whose benefit is being taken by the State since long but is also making the concerned authorities aware about those schemes which have remained out of their focus till date.
In Jammu and Kashmir landslides also claim large number of lives every year and recent incident on Batote-Doda-Kishtwar National Highway is the testimony of the same but till date landslide hazard and risk assessment has not been conducted so far, which otherwise is pre-requisite as per the guidelines of the NDMA to obtain benefit of National Landslide Risk Mitigation Project, sources said.
Under the scheme, the funds are sanctioned for treating vulnerable slopes and hazardous landslides, restricting development in landslide prone areas, preparing codes for excavation, construction and grading etc.
“Besides providing assistance under National Landslide Risk Mitigation Project, the National Disaster Management Authority is also repeatedly laying thrust on earmarking of special funds for State Disaster Management Authority for landside disaster management related activities but this aspect has also not received due attention in Jammu and Kashmir till date”, sources regretted.
“Despite being aware of the fact that indiscriminate quarrying and mining operations for construction material are also leading to destabilization of hills and subsequent landslides the State Government has not initiated steps to strictly regulate these activities as a result of which landslide risk is increasing with every passing year”, they added.
When contacted, an officer of Disaster Management and Relief and Rehabilitation said, “the present Administrative Secretary has issued directions for preparation of Detailed Project Reports within shortest possible time to obtain benefit of National Landslide Risk Mitigation Project”.