2% of disaster management fund to be reserved for flood mitigation

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The state’s disaster management department has proposed allocating/reserving two percent of its total funding for flood mitigation as threats of deluge are becoming frequent.
The disaster management policy of 2012 was up for review recently and has envisaged a special fund for mitigation not just with the Disaster Management Relief, Rehabilitation and Reconstruction (DMRRR) department but also the associated departments such as Irrigation and Flood Control, said an official of DMRRR department. 
Expert reports have indicated that mitigation management of flooding was a vital aspect being neglected.
“For the mitigation measures as per the budget announcement, Rs 10 crore have been kept for creation of State Disaster Mitigation Fund. Proposals are being sought from the Departments of PHE(I&FC), Housing and Urban Development, Health, CAPD and PDD for use of synergy in undertaking mitigation management,” a DMRRR official said. 
The government through its project management unit (PMU) for Jhelum and Tawi Flood Recovery Project (JTFRP) has already engaged a Spanish consultancy, Eptisa Servicios Deingenieria for morphology study on the Jhelum.
“As a continuous effort to mitigate the flood threat of River Jhelum, DMRRR department in consultation with the project monitoring unit under Jhelum Tawi Flood Recovery Project has floated international tenders for Comprehensive Study, Surveys and Formulation of DPR under Long Term measures, which has been approved by the World Bank recently and awarded to M/S EPITSA of Spain,” a department report reads.
Secretary, DMRRR, Talat Parvez said there was no doubt mitigation measures must be taken up on priority basis prior to relief and rehabilitation in case of any disaster such as flooding.
“In addition we are keen on strengthening quick response teams and control rooms,” Parvez said, adding disaster management teams should be multi-disciplinary and more rescue equipment should be in place.
Officials said flood mitigation committees have been constituted under the chairmanship of respective Divisional Commissioners so as to pool resources including men and machinery available with all the departments.
“Irrigation and Flood Control Department has been asked to map vulnerable areas and divide them in zones. Each zone is to be headed by the executive magistrate nominated by the concerned Deputy Commissioners,” said an official.
The existing advance warning and alert systems in case of floods have also been created.
“The concerned Divisions have installed Public Address systems. Warning of flood, patrolling by staff, WhatsApp group has been created for messaging alert level, threat level and danger level vis-à-vis present status of rains as intimated by IMD Department, floods gauges so as to take preventive measures and also prevent the locals from venturing near the river,” a DMRRR report stated.

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