Revamp State Disaster Management apparatus

To deal with disaster management, not only handling and conducting of available resources but its organization and owning and sharing responsibilities , dealing ably with emergencies – comprise the multifarious commitments and duties of Disaster Management Authority. Either such an authority should be increasingly tenacious , resolute and decisive or it is better not to have one just for the name sake, we may be candid in saying so because what is to be dealt with, are unforeseen contingencies, unexpected and uninformed but hardly needing an approach to deal with other than concerted, well organised and fully committed, keeping supreme , humanitarian considerations. What is needed under such circumstances, is a blend of full preparedness all the time , followed by a befitting response at the shortest possible time of intimation of occurrence of any emergency and the recovery and salvaging process , stress being on how to lessen and dilute the impact , jolt and the concussion.
Having said all the above in prelude to the sensitive subject, the Jammu and Kashmir State Disaster Management Authority , in comparison, on elementary footing, has not come up to the reasonable expectations as there seems to be no spark and organisational acumen in the entire structure of Disaster Management, Relief , Rehabilitation and Reconstruction Department. Could any amount of complacency or lackadaisical approach , under any circumstances, be afforded in management of a happening in which there was absolutely no human intervention possible to prevent but which could be responded to and dealt with professionally efficiently to provide succour, relief , rehabilitation and healing to the victims . Earthquakes, floods, landslides, avalanches , high velocity storms and winds etc never ever give prior information and warnings and in that case , even outbreak of epidemics. Any amount of compromise with preparedness or in organising professional management of disasters , in arranging relief and help, would spell doom and loss of phenomenal proportion. Can it be visualised that there has been no convening of any meeting for the last one and a half years by the Disaster Management Authority not to speak of conducting mock drills and assessing whether its wheels of action were properly lubricated with preparedness both in the shape of personnel and the required tools and equipment.
What about the fate of the “various decisions” taken in the previous meeting held by the said authority as back as in the middle of 2017 , the status, the review and the progress achieved on various parameters are not known. Whether guidelines laid down have been revisited in regard to their appraisal and applicability and improvement as also any information about the Disaster Management Plan prepared by the line Departments of the state , no exact information is available. In other words, we have to keep our fingers crossed about how under such a scenario could it be expected that any unforeseen contingency could efficiently be handled. What is mentioned and enjoined in documents and circulars issued from time to time as also in relevant policies must scrupulously be adhered to, in letter and spirit .
Jammu and Kashmir is having its unique setting in terms of geographical and climatic conditions and its vulnerability to various natural upheavals cannot be foreseen and predicted even remotely. That being a hard fact calls for more attention and fool proof preparedness by the concerned Departments, all under the Disaster Management Authority but the critical assessment of the entire gamut of things only points to a casual approach spelling disappointment which calls for a concerted action by the State administration , presently under the overall control of the Governor.