Minister for Disaster Management, Relief & Rehabilitation & Floriculture, Javaid Mustafa Mir today said that J&K being vulnerable to natural disasters owing to unique geo-climatic conditions and geographic location, the state government has devised a multi-pronged roadmap to deal with any eventuality.Winding up the discussion on the discussion on demand for grants for Disaster Management, Relief & Rehabilitation & other allied departments in the Legislative Assembly, the Minister said that over the past two years, there is a paradigm shift in the approach of the government towards disaster management and it has flagged this important component in the highest priority.“Over the past two years, Government has brought about a paradigm shift in the approach to disaster management. Development cannot be sustainable unless disaster mitigation is built into the development process”, he said.The Minister said that the government has learnt lessons from the previous disasters and has taken several preventive steps to minimize the human as well as property losses, said the Minister.Listing some major and visionary initiatives taken by the government to deal with the natural disasters in the State, the Minister said that now the focus has been shifted from traditional Relief Distribution towards, Disaster Preparedness and Mitigation.The government has established a structured institutional mechanism to deal with disasters, under which, the State Disaster Management Authority is headed by Chief Minister.Further to next level, the Divisional Disaster Management Authorities established for effective and efficient management of disasters and at the lower level, District Disaster Management Authorities have also been strengthened.With a view to provide professional assistance for strengthening state & District Disaster Management Authorities, 17 Disaster Management Professionals have also been engaged to assist the authorities, he said.The Minister said to ensure safety of schools the Chief Education Officers have been designated as Nodal Officers.
Existing State Disaster Management Policy has been updated and State Disaster Management Plan, State Disaster Management Policy, District Disaster Management Plans have also been prepared and notified, the Minister informed.With regard to Civil Defence, the Minister said that the state has in place two dedicated Battalions of the State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) and it has also initiated the process for upgrading the SDRF with adequate manpower, capacity building and equipment support. Besides this, we are also supporting Fire & Emergency Services in order to strengthen and upgrade the force, with the latest rescue equipments, he added.He said that Civil Defence volunteers are being provided training to deal with natural calamities.“School children are amongst the most vulnerable in the event of a disaster, for that the department has adopted the National School Safety Guidelines” he said adding the community being the first responders in any disaster situations, innovative steps for imparting trainings to volunteers from the community in all districts has been taken.“Instructions have been given to all DCs to identify 300 volunteers so that they may be trained in disaster response and will be equipped with personal rescue equipments to make them able to respond in the event of any disaster, as first responders,” he informed.Listing preparedness activities, he said 274 rescue operations, 211 mock exercises, 638 awareness camps, 176 training camps, were held in past year, while 10516 volunteers and 12361 students were trained in disaster rescue and 607 officers and officials of SDRF imparted advanced training till date.Regarding creation of Disaster Mitigation Fund, the Minister informed the House that J&K is amongst the first few states in the Country to have initiated the Disaster Mitigation Fund and the Finance Minister has already kept a budgetary provision of Rs 10 Crore under the head.
The Department has also conducted various studies including Hazard and Vulnerability Assessment of the state with focus on Urban Seismic Vulnerability, besides, river Morphology study of River Jhelum and Tawi initiated, seismic Microzonation in collaboration with University of Kashmir, Project on increasing resilience to earthquakes in the North-Western Himalaya initiated, in collaboration with Shri Mata Vaishno Devi University, Katra.Under Centrally Sponsored Schemes, “Sustainable Reduction of Disaster Risk (SRDR)” Rs 39.632 lakh were allotted for disaster preparedness programmes in District Poonch and District Anantnag and and under another CSS “Aapda Mitr”, 200 volunteers would be trained in flood response in Srinagar District.For ensuring creation of earthquake resistant structures, he said all line departments including R&B, School Education, Higher Education etc. have been directed to ensure that the new constructions are made Earthquake Resistant.Informing further fund availability, the Minister said that under SDRF, Rs 15.00 crore has been released during current financial year to meet any contingency arising due to natural calamities, while under PMDP, Rs 54.29 crore was released to I&FC department for permanent restoration of flood damaged infrastructure.He said that Rs 14.14 crore has been released as State Disaster Mitigation Fund of which Rs 58.75 lakh were provided to each Deputy Commissioner, to spend 50% for procurement of emergency rescue equipments and rest on other components for strengthening SDMA and DDMAs.The Minister informed the House that Rs 1839.17 crore has been paid to more than 1 lakh and 81 thousand eligible beneficiaries who were affected during 2014 floods 2014:“The damages in losses to certain sectors are also being covered under the Prime Minister Package”, he added.
Speaking about the prestigious Rs 1500 crore Jehlum & Tawi Flood Recovery Project (JTFRP) which is being funded by World Bank, the Minister said that the project focuses on restoring critical infrastructure using international best practices, on resilient infrastructure.“JTFRP aims at both restoring essential services disrupted by the floods and improving the design standard and practices to increase resilience”, he said.He said the work on various components of this prestigious project is underway and are being regularly monitored.
Spelling out the various initiatives taken for Kashmiri Migrants during the year 2017, he said that Prime Minister’s Package for the return and rehabilitation of Kashmiri Migrants has been a key initiative aimed at ensuring the dignified return of Kashmiri Pandit families to the Valley.In 2017-18, 3000 additional supernumerary posts have been created under the Programme, in various departments. Out of 3000 posts, 2575 posts have been referred to the concerned recruiting agencies and will be filled up shortly, he added.He said that out of 3000 posts created earlier, selection/appointment orders have been issued in favour of more than 2900 candidates till December, 2017. Besides, this various developmental initiatives have also been undertaken at various KP townships and settlements.To bring transparency in the distribution of financial assistance among beneficiaries and other kind of relief, the Minister said that now the assistance to the registered Kashmiri and Jammu Migrant families is now being made through Direct Benefit Transfer.The Minister said that Rehabilitation Package is being provided to the displaced families from PoJK and Chhamb under the PMDP for an amount of Rs 2000 crore under which an amount of Rs 5.50 lakh is being provided to each displaced family (Rs.5,49,692 as Central Share and Rs 308 as State Share).With regard to measures taken for relief and rehabilitation of cross border firing victims, he informed that the relief and compensation would be now paid at the rates equal to (National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) that are fixed from time to time.Besides, 14460 bunkers which include 1431 community bunkers and 13029 individual bunkers costing Rs 415.73 crore have been sanctioned to mitigate the hardships being faced by people living on International Border/LoC, due to Cross Border firing he said.He further informed that ex-gratia relief paid to NoK of killed @ Rs 1.00 lakh from the state government scheme and cases for ex-gratia relief under the CSS @ Rs 5.00 lakh each are under process.
With regard to Floriculture department, the Minister said that the garden tourism is not only the important source of attraction to tourists but also serves as important source of research and development to plant/environment scientists, landscapers as well as botanists.The Department of Floriculture maintains plants/flower nurseries whereby different plant/flower species are sown under open and controlled climatic condition. This one point source serves as an important sales point for sale of plant material to general public on concessional rates, he added.Earlier, the floriculture activities were restricted to maintenance and development of parks and gardens but its scope has increased owing to adoption of different Centrally Sponsored Schemes.He said that during the recent years, the demand for flowers as Cut, Loose, Dry, Pot Purri bulbs, Seeds, bunches, Bouquets, Ornamental, Fillers etc has increased substantially in both domestic and international markets and as such has gained significance, thereby enabling generation of employment and contributing towards the GSDP.Informing the House about the initiatives taken under Floriculture sector, he said that liberal financial and technical assistance besides providing post-harvest facilities and market channels for the benefit of the growers with the financial assistance available under various schemes has been provided to the farmers.
The Minister said that centrally sponsored schemes provided under the sector is to uplift the economic conditions of the poor farmers by way of providing incentives under various activities as envisaged in the schemes.The Department is organizing regular trainings within and outside the State for the farmers/growers in order to make them aware with modern trends in Floriculture Sector besides, awareness programmes/exposure visits are being organized to attract more and more farmers towards this sector, he informed.While informing the House about the financial status of floriculture department, the Minister informed that out of total Rs 1909 lakh CAPEX Budget for the year 2017-18, an amount of Rs 1225.28 lakh has been incurred ending December 2017.He said that various activities are being carried out under the sector including establishment of new parks, maintaining/up keeping the main gardens/parks, commercial floriculture ensuring pollution free environment to the general masses, profitability to the small and marginal farmers with special focus on development, popularization of ornamental and recreational floriculture; besides, diversification in agriculture crops with Commercial Floriculture Crops primarily focused to catch the attention of tourists and also generate direct & indirect employment opportunities.
Besides CAPEX Budget, commercial activities in the floriculture sector are supplemented by various Centrally Sponsored Schemes including Mission for Integrated Development of Horticulture (MIDH), RashtriyaKrishiVikas Yojana (RKVY), Agricultural Technology Mission Agency (ATMA), and Prime Minister’s KrishiSanchai Yojana (PMKSY).The Minister said that during 2017-18, Rs 58.54 lakh has been released under these Centrally Sponsored Scheme schemes.Later, the House passed with voice vote the grants amounting to Rs 146728.95 for Disaster Management, Relief Rehabilitation & Reconstruction and Floriculture Departments.Earlier, several members participated in the discussion. They include Ravinder Raina, Shamim Firdous, Usman Abdul Majid, Noor Mohammad Sheikh, Bashir Ahmad Dar, Pawan Gupta, Mohammad Akbar Lone, Krishen Lal Bhagat, Choudhary Mohammad Akram, Javid Hassan Beigh, Sukhnandan Kumar, M Y Tarigami, Abdul Majid Larmi, Mumtaz Ahmad Khan, Raja Manzoor, Altaf Ahmad Wani, Syed Farooq Ahmad Andrabi, Mohammad Amin Bhat, Daleep Singh Parihar and Sheikh Ishfaq Jabbar