Disaster Management Secretariat

Sir,
This refers to the news item’J&K asked to establish full- fledged Disaster Mgmt Secretariat'(DE,Jan14,2015).The recommendations of Tata Institute of Social Sciences to the Government of Jammu & Kashmir to establish a full fledged Disaster Management Secretariat in order to tackle natural disasters in an effective manner needs to be taken seriously.Our state is a disaster prone state with natural disasters such as snow storms, avalanches,cloudbursts, landslides,floods etc.taking a heavy toll of life and property every year.The torrential rains in September last year triggered heavy floods and landslides both in Jammu division and Kashmir division causing tremendous loss of life and property.In one such incident,the whole village of Panjar Saddal in Udhampur district was wiped out and some bodies of the victims are still lying under the debris.Many parts of Srinagar city were submerged under water causing unimaginable distress to the residents who had to to be rescued with the joint efforts of NDRF, Indian Army and Indian Air Force and of course with the heroic efforts of the local people.Not only this,our state falls in the vulnerable seismic zone and in 2005, parts of Kashmir valley suffered tremendous loss in terms of life and property due to a devastating earthquake. Moreover, a  killer cloudburst triggering flashfloods and landslides in Leh wrecked havoc, besides taking a heavy toll of precious lives in 2010.
Thus,it is imperative that we should be fully prepared to tackle any such disaster in future.The experts of the Institute have aptly recommended that Disaster Management Secretariat should ensure that round the year activities should be carried out for capacity building and training of manpower, besides resource mapping and requirement to give a tough response to any catastrophe that may occur. The experts of the Tata Institute of Social Sciences have rightly remarked that ‘the Secretariat should work with the objective of fostering a culture of prevention,preparedness and mitigation’.Thus, what is required on the part of the state government is to set up the proposed Disaster Management Secretariat at the earliest in order to effectively deal with the situation in case a natural disaster hits our state in future.
Yours etc….
Ashok Sharma,
Flat No 4,
Housing Colony,
Udhampur

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