The Union Government has allocated Rs. 454 crore for next financial year for State Disaster Relief Fund which was 158 percent higher than the last year’s allocation. This was stated by Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur while presiding over the 6th meeting of HP State Disaster Management Authority here today.Chief Minister said that in addition to this allocation, the Union Government has allocated Rs. 50 crore to the state for landslides and earthquake risk mitigation. He said that thus for the current financial year Rs. 140 crore funds were available for disaster mitigation in the state.Jai Ram Thakur said that the State Disaster Management Authority (SDMA) has been focusing on strengthening of preparedness, mitigation and preventive measures from institutional to individual level. He said that the Authority has come up with a Disaster Risk Reduction Preparedness Project with the external bilateral assistance of Rs 800 crore to reduce risk and vulnerability of the State to various hazards. He said that the project has been developed under a multi sector framework with an aim to reduce risk and enhance resilience in the state.Chief Minister said that the main objective of this project is to reduce vulnerability of the state from various natural hazards such as earthquake, landslides, flash floods and climate induced etc. He said that the project also envisages reducing loss of human lives and properties besides reducing overall disaster risks. He said that project was also being supported by the Niti Aayog.Jai Ram Thakur said that the National Disaster Management Authority has also conceptualized a project National Seismic Risk Mitigation Programme for eight states viz. Assam, Bihar, Himachal Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya, Tripura, Uttrakhand and UT Jammu & Kashmir. This project aims at developing early warning dissemination system in case of earthquake besides enhancing emergency response capacity.
Chief Minister said that the Union Government has sanctioned a Company of National Disaster Response Force permanently for the state which has been positioned at Jachh in Nurpur area of Kangra district. He said that the state government had also notified raising of Himachal Pradesh State Disaster Response Force in line with National Disaster Response Force, to be the first responder in case of any disaster in the State. He said that till the separate State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) was raised one company strength each would be stationed at nearby locations to the Police Ranges i.e. Shimla, Mandi and Dharamshala.Jai Ram Thakur said that the State Disaster Management Authority has approved Departmental Disaster Management Plans for 39 departments of the State. He said that these plans would be updated regularly by the respective departments.Chief Minister said that the state government has received adequate funds under the National Disaster Response Fund. He that that the state received Rs. 312.76 crore during the year 2018, Rs. 64.49 crore in winter season 2019 and Rs. 283.97 crore in 2019 as compared to Rs. 81.22 crore, Rs. 63.23 crore and Rs. 84.13 crore funds received during the year 2015, 2016 and 2017 respectively.Jai Ram Thakur said that the Government of India had decided to treat COVID-19 Virus Outbreak as notified disaster for the purpose of providing assistance under State Disaster Response Fund. He said that the state government has decided to immediately release Rs. five crore in first instance from the State Disaster Response Fund to Health Department to take necessary measures to fight this virus epidemic.Principal Secretary, Revenue Onkar Chand Sharma welcomed the Chief Minister and apprised him about various steps being taken by the State Disaster Response Authority to mitigate the losses in case of natural disaster.Special Secretary Revenue and Director State Disaster Management Authority Duni Chand Rana conducted the proceedings of the meeting.Chief Secretary Anil Khachi, Additional Chief Secretaries Manoj Kumar and R.D. Dhiman, Director General of Police S.R. Mardi, Principal Secretary K.K. Pant, Secretaries Rajneesh and Dr. R.N. Batta and other senior officers also attended the meeting.