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J&K: Heavy snowfall declared state-specific natural calamity

The Indian Express logo The Indian Express 10-01-2021 Express News Service
Manoj Sinha talking on a cell phone © Provided by The Indian Express

To expedite disbursement of relief and ex-gratia for damage caused by snowfall, Jammu and Kashmir’s Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha on Sunday declared ‘Heavy Snowfall’ as a state-specific natural calamity under the State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) norms.

The Lieutenant Governor was chairing a virtual meeting with all DCs and SSPs of Kashmir division to take stock of the administration’s winter management measures, especially snow clearance efforts.

Earlier, ‘Heavy Snowfall’ did not figure in the list of Natural Calamities under SDRF norms, due to which disbursement of relief and ex-gratia for damage due to heavy snowfall was not possible for the districts’ disaster management authorities.

Now, processing of ex-gratia relief under SDRF will become faster, thereby giving huge relief to the affected people living in snowbound areas, said an official statement.

During the meeting, the Lt Governor sought a detailed report on issues faced by the public due to heavy snowfall and the future course of action.

On being apprised about shortage of small rescue vehicles for movement of people requiring medical assistance, particularly in remote areas and areas with narrow lanes, the Lt Governor directed that 4x4 rescue vehicles /ambulances be provided to snow-affected districts with immediate effect.

He asked the officers to be more sensitive and responsive to the issues of the public and take necessary measures.

“Be visible and take early measures. Need more feet on the ground. Quickly reach out to the people to address their needs and requirements,” the Lt Governor told the officials.

Taking cognizance of media reports, social media posts and grievances received from the public, the Lt Governor asked the administration to identify gaps and take immediate measures to fill them to redress the issues faced by the people.

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