CS reviews flood management, mitigation plan for Kashmir

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JAMMU: Chief Secretary, Atal Dulloo, today chaired a meeting of Irrigation and Flood Control (I&FC) Department to review the flood management and mitigation measures being evolved for Kashmir valley.

ACS Jal  Shakti, ACS Forest, Divisional Commissioner Kashmir, Secretary PWD, Secretary Health, Secretary Grievances, Secretary DMRR&R, IG Traffic, Deputy Commissioners, SPs, Chief Engineer I&FC/UEED, representatives of NDRF and other concerned officers attended the meeting.

The Chief Secretary asked for devising an effective strategy to deal with flood like situations in the valley. He maintained that floods are disasters which require prior preparedness to alleviate the damage caused by them. He called for evolving proper SoPs to deal with the Floods as like the ‘Code Blue’ being followed in hospitals, where every concerned individual is fully acquainted with his/her role and responsibility in the times of emergency.

The Chief Secretary called for having a detailed flood mapping/inundation map of each area in the districts to act accordingly. He exhorted upon the DCs and Divisional Commissioner to have proper planning in place to deal effectively with the natural disasters.

Dulloo also asked for having a direct communication link with the public in times of such disasters so that they do not panic and get actual information about rescue measures and places available for public. He suggested for mapping of mobile towers so that customized messages to people in case of emergencies can be sent. He also asked for identification of rescue centres in all flood prone having all the requisite amenities. He also asked for working out a proper backup strategy to augment the efforts of administration in case of any possible emergency.

The Chief Secretary also asked making trainings and exercises an important part of the preparedness plan. He took stock of the functionality of dewatering stations in Srinagar City and asked for periodically checking them for efficacy.

 He reviewed working of Emergency Operation Centre and the vital installations present in the flood prone areas. He called upon the Divisional administration to carryout an exercise of creating backup for such installations.

During the meeting, ACS Jal Shakti, Shaleen Kabra, threw light on all the measures taken by the department to deal with such kind of natural calamities in J&K. He said that the UT besides increasing the carrying capacity of the River Jhelum and Flood Spill Channel has adopted other state of the art technologies to have better information and coordination to mitigate its effects.

He revealed that the Department has installed the Early Warning System and automatic water sensors besides carrying out audit of embankments to deal with floods effectively. He said that the ‘Kashmir Flood Watch’ mobile app and website gives updated information about the water levels in rivers. He also revealed that other requisite information is also transmitted to public through both traditional and social media handles simultaneously.

The meeting was apprised of the works carried out, so far, by the Department. It also laid out the future plans of the department besides the contingency plan it has devised for the eventuality. The meeting also presented the stock position of different flood mitigation items available with the Department in its stores.

The meeting was informed that the central flood committee is being headed by the Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir while the District Coordination Committees are headed by respective DCs. The meeting discussed about the river capacity, first overflow, danger level of water and level for declaration of flood as per the gauge readings at Sangam, Ram Munshibagh and Asham.

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