The Minister for Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs, Mir Saifullah today informed the Upper House that the State of Jammu and Kashmir as a whole falls in seismic Zone IV and V and has witnessed two major earthquakes in Uri and in erstwhile Doda. The State Government is quite aware of the fact and has already constituted State Disaster Management Authority with Chief Minister as its Chairman; State Executive Committee with Chief Secretary as its Chairman and District Disaster Management Authority with Deputy Commissioner as its Chairman. A comprehensive State Disaster Management Plan is under formulation/consultation with Tata Institute of social Sciences Member (TISS) and is expected to be in place by end of 2013.
Replying to calling attention notice moved by Dr. Bashir Ahmed Shah and Mr. Naeem Akhter Indrabi, the Minister said that during 2012, two existing battalions of Auxiliary Police were converted into J&K State Disaster Response Force (JKSDRF) one of which is head-quartered at Srinagar and another in Samba. The force working in these companies are being given special orientation training both within and even outside the State, adding that they were deployed during recent earthquake in erstwhile Doda and extended a lot of support in providing relief to the affected people.The Minister said Rs. 25 crore were released under SDRF for providing ex-gratia relief to the dead/injured and also to the persons whose houses got damaged due to the recent earthquakes as per SDRF norms. In addition 5579 tents were provided for temporary shelter, adding that free ration for three months was sanctioned in favour of three Districts of Kishtwar Ramban and Doda for meeting the immediate food requirement of those people who got affected because of the earthquakes.
He said it has been reported that nearly 700 educational institutions have suffered damages in these districts and in order to keep these schools functional, instructions were issued for making arrangements by providing shelters and tents wherever required so that the education of the children does not suffer.
The Minister said that the State Government prepared a comprehensive proposal of providing relief to the sufferers on the same pattern as was provided to flood sufferers of Leh and submitted same to MOHA, Government of India for release of funds, adding that till date Government of India has neither sanctioned any special package nor allowed the State Government to relax the SDRF norms which could enable the State Government to extend special relief to the Sufferers.