Coordinated strategy on Disaster Management at Vaishnodevi

Excelsior Correspondent
KATRA, June 22: To remain ever alert to tackle all types of disasters at Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Bhawan in Trikuta Hills, a workshop-cum-discussion was held at Bhawan under the chairmanship of Maj Gen (Retd) Shiv Kumar Sharma, Member, Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board.
The workshop was attended by senior officials stationed at Bhawan, including Jagdish Singh, SDM Bhawan; Uttam Kumar, Assistant Commandant CRPF; Rajesh Kumar, SHO Bhawan; Sunil Gupta, Dy. Manager, Shrine Board and unit heads of various wings of Shrine Board.
After giving a brief presentation, Gen Sharma laid emphasis on the coordination among various agencies and wings of the Shrine Board to tackle any emergency especially the recurrent forest fires, shooting stones, landslides which are the main challenges in and around the shrine area besides situation of stampede which may occur during peak days when yatra is over 45,000.
He called for synergized efforts to strengthen the communication system on the track and carrying out continuous improvement in human resource strengthening by means of trainings and mock drills in this direction. It was decided that a comprehensive mock drill will be conducted in the coming days to assess the preparedness of the stakeholders in tackling various disasters.
Later, Major General Sharma, accompanied by the SDM and other Shrine Board officers, inspected the Disaster Management Store at Bhawan where they assessed the serviceability of vital equipment including generator-operated tower lights. Pumps and hose pipes for extinguishing fires were also checked and directions were given to DMTF regarding maintenance and continuous updating of inventory of the stores.
Later, a similar exercise was also conducted at Adhkwari which was attended by senior officials of CRPF, JK Police, Fire and Emergency Services and Shrine Board. Newly re-located Disaster Management store was also visited and directions were passed on periodic maintenance of vital stores like the fire extinguishers, first aid kits and all chargeable battery-operated equipment.
Subsequently, it was decided to formulate a SOP where duties of each and every department are clearly spelled out.