Snowfall aftermath: Bukhari reviews relief, rehabilitation measures

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, Jan 29:  Minister for Revenue, Disaster Management, Relief, Rehabilitation & Reconstruction, Syed Basharat Ahmed Bukhari, today chaired a high level meeting to take stock of the situation arisen due to snowfall in Kashmir and other parts of the State besides assessing relief measures being initiated for the affected people.
Financial Commissioner Disaster Management, Relief & Rehabilitation, B B Vyas, Special Secretary R&R, Mohammad Akbar Ganai, Director Finance, Shagufta Qazi and other senior officers from Revenue, Disaster Management, Relief, Rehabilitation & Reconstruction Departments attended the meeting.
Divisional Commissioner Kashmir, Baseer Ahmad Khan, DIG Police CKR, Commissioner SMC and other divisional level officers also participated in the meeting through video conferencing.
Reviewing the status of snow clearance, the Minister directed for keeping functional all the major roads and emergency routes especially at upper reaches of avalanche prone areas. It was informed that in addition to all district roads, connectivity leading to Srinagar city has been cleared of the snow for smooth passage of traffic. Besides, snow clearance is being done on regular basis in the areas in higher reaches where snow cover is upto 5 feet.
The Minister further asked for procurement of additional snow cutting machines to cater to the actual requirement of snow clearance in vulnerable spots.
Taking stock of snow related damages, the Minister directed for proper relief and rehabilitation of people affected by recent snow storms especially in Gurez and Tulail areas which face high risk of snow avalanche.
For catering to the day to day requirements of the people in valley, the Minister issued strict instructions for keeping adequate stock of ration, kerosene oil and LPG cylinders available besides ensuring their timely distribution especially in the upper reaches and far flung areas.
Taking stock of healthcare facilities, the Minister directed for adequate medicine supply and proper heating arrangements besides ensuring regular attendance of medical personnel in Government health institutions.
Meanwhile, Bukhari visited various parts of Jammu city to personally take stock of the measures put in place by the district administration to provide basic amenities to the passengers stranded in the winter capital due to closure of Srinagar-Jammu National Highway and Jammu-Doda-Kishtwar road following heavy snowfall in various parts of the State.
Divisional Commissioner Jammu, Dr Pawan Kotwal, Additional Deputy Commissioner Jammu, Arun Manhas and other officers from civil administration and police accompanied the Minister.
The Minister directed the concerned to ensure adequate amenities to the stranded passengers including meals, medicines and monetary assistance to those who have exhausted their resources in the course of extended travel and stay in Jammu.
He also issued orders for facilitating vehicular movement as and when the traffic resumes on the National Highway connecting Jammu to Srinagar and other districts.
The Minister directed fixing of timing for allowing movement of civil traffic on National Highway to facilitate coordination between transport agencies and stranded passengers besides asking NHAI to monitor and assess emergency related requirements and processes in the wake of ensuing weather conditions.