Bracing for the challenge posed by the excessive rains during the monsoon season, the Uttarakhand government on Tuesday announced cancellation of leave of all the field staff till September 15.
With the first rains of the monsoon season already wreaking havoc in several places in Uttarakhand, the field staff employees have been asked to be on alert. “The leaves of all the field staff working under the PWD, disaster management, revenue, etc, have been cancelled till September 15,” said Amit Negi, Secretary, Disaster Management, while speaking with media persons.The government has also cancelled the leave of officers and District Magistrates. They have been asked not to leave their stations without prior notice.
Chief Secretary Utpal Kumar Singh in a video conference with district magistrates asked the officers to remain vigilant and ensure that the response time in the event of an emergency situation is minimum. The Chief Secretary has also asked the field staff to make temporary arrangements for the movement of traffic in Pithoragarh, where eight bridges got washed away in the rain. Around 74 satellite phones have been provided in districts for use in case of disruption of communication. Amit Negi said all the roads prone to landslides had been identified and these would be monitored continuously.
“We have stationed JCBs and other equipment to remove debris in the event of landslide. Alternate track routes have been made at places on the national highway which are identified as chronic landslides zones so that in case of blockades the pilgrims and other commuters could to be moved to safer places,” said Negi. Safe shelter points had been identified for pilgrims on the Char Dham route, Secretary, Disaster Management, said.Negi also said the Department of Disaster Management would continue to utilise the services of private aviation companies for undertaking rescue work rather than buying its own helicopter.
The issue gained currency as in the aftermath of the Pauri bus accident on Sunday. IG Pushkar Jyoti and his rescue team had to wait several hours for the private helicopter as the company refused to fly the team due to non-payment of dues. Though the team was later flown by the same aviation company it forced the government to weigh other options such as buying its own helicopter.“Purchase of helicopter and later its running and maintenance is not economically feasible, the rented companies are a far better option and we have asked the UCADA to provide us with two helicopters to be stationed at Kumaon and Garhwal,” added Negi.
News credit : TribuneIndia