Chief Secretary V.C Pharka today directed all stakeholder departments of the Himachal State Government to undertake the process of pre-monsoon de-siltation, clearing of water channels, removal of blockages and encroachments from drainage systems and flood plains. He was presiding over a meeting organized here today to take necessary preventive steps for impending monsoon attended by senior officers of various departments and representatives from central agencies and other stakeholders.
The Director General of Police Mr. Sanjay Kumar and Deputy Commissioners participated through video conference. Mr. Pharka directed the Deputy Commissioners to generate mass awareness amongst tourists, trekkers and the public for taking precautionary measures. The Hydroelectric project proponents should give the warning of the release of water from dams in advance to the local administration and the people downstream. He directed the Deputy Commissioners for ensuring better coordination amongst the concerned departments to mitigate the effects of natural calamities and proper maintenance of essential services.
The Chief Secretary said the government has released Rs. 63.23 crore for taking preventive measures to deputy commissioners and concerned departments from State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF) and National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF). He said Rs. 35 crore has been released to the departments including Rs. 25 crores to PWD, rupees five crores to I&PH, rupees two crores to electricity board, one and a half crore each to agriculture and horticulture departments. He said Rs. 28.23 crore has been released to Deputy Commissioners for immediate relief, exgratia, drinking water and assistance to urban local bodies.
He said DCs must ensure the evacuation of establishments, labor colonies and settlements along with the riverbed in low-lying areas and hydropower project authorities should ensure that no water was released from reservoirs without warning. They should ensure proper dissemination of alerts at least 24 hrs before releasing of the water. He advised the DCs to create Whatsapp group for better coordination and flow of information to the concerned stakeholders. He said all weather-related advisories should be given in media for wider dissemination to the public. The telecom service providers were asked to ensure flash SMS messages in their mobile phones at the time of tourist’s entry in the state, containing advisories regarding natural and human-induced hazards.
Mr. Pharka directed Health Department to conduct a special drive for prevention of epidemics, water-borne diseases and taking corrective measures immediately. Additional Chief Secretary, Revenue and Disaster Management Shri Tarun Shridhar stressed for better response, mapping and updation of consolidated resource inventory like verification of stores including identification of safe evacuation places and local flood rescuers is critical.
He emphasized that District Emergency Operation Centres/Control rooms should be activated and timely information regarding daily loss reports be promptly submitted. He further stated there should be adequate preparedness for ensuring timely provision of essential commodities, emergency medical services, communication and prevention of epidemics.