Cities India

Almora Provide Basic Equipments To Its 775 Gram Panchayats.

Almora has become first district in the state to provide basic equipment to its 775 gram panchayats to be used in case of natural disasters such as landslides and flash floods.

The district administration has utilised funds allocated by the 14th Finance Commission to be used in case of natural disaster. Surveen Bansal, District Magistrate, Almora, said, “Basic equipment such as ropes, search lights, stretchers, etc essential for carrying out relief work are available with the gram panchayats now.” Though villagers are first responders when disaster strikes, they were bereft of basic equipment required to rescue those in distress. However, the task to motivate the gram panchayats to utilise funds for disaster relief was not easy. Amit Negi, secretary, Department of Disaster Management, said, “We can only suggest panchayats. The District Magistrate has the power to oversee the budget spending of the gram panchayats. He took the initiative to motivate the panchayat representatives in Almora.” Further, there are provisions that can be invoked under the Disaster Management Act (2005) for carrying out disaster relief work in the work plan of the gram panchayats.Now, the department is hopeful that the gram panchayats in other districts would follow the suit. The district has also utilised funds provided to it under the State Disaster Relief Fund.A GIS-backed laboratory has been set up at the District Emergency Operation Centre to prepare data infrastructure on location of mobile towers and suitable places for setting up temporary helipads.

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