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Interacts with Probationary IFS Officers
Omar for National Disaster Management Agency on USA pattern
SRINAGAR, July 3: Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah Wednesday pitched for a resourceful, capable and pragmatic National Disaster Management Agency at the Union Government level which would be at beck and call of all State Governments at the time of high magnitude and unforeseen natural calamities like tsunamis, earthquakes, cloud bursts.

“This high capacity Agency could help the States, as is the case in United States, during the calamities of huge dimensions of devastation”, he said adding that individuals States can manage calamities of smaller dimensions but not like those of Uttarakhand, earthquake in Jammu and Kashmir in 2008 and Leh cloud burst in 2010. He said during the calamities of bigger magnitude all States otherwise look for the help from Union Government and Armed Forces for rescue and relief measures, as such, a high powered and high capacity Disaster Management Agency at the National level is needed to be actively available to the States to cope up major calamities in a befitting manner.

Interacting with the Probationary IFS Officers here, the Chief Minister underlined the importance of balancing development needs of people with environment necessities adding that unchecked and illegal infrastructure development particularly in tourist areas at the cost of environment is fatal and responsible for massive damage and causalities during natural calamities “When we block the natural passage of rain water coming down from mountains by building structures, we would be definitely in heavy trouble, if there are incessant rains or cloud bursts”, he said asserting that tampering with nature always proves dangerous.

He advised the young forest officers to face the modern challenges of carrying forward development in consonance with environment requirements in a meticulous and effective way to satisfy both human beings and the nature. He said while we have to accommodate the economic aspects of locals emanating from tourism, linking of remote and far-flung areas with main highways, construction of schools, health centres, etc we have to maintain the ecology and the environment of that area simultaneously.

Omar Abdullah said that in a State like Jammu and Kashmir where accessibility and road communication is vital for sustenance and economic welfare of people living in far-flung areas, construction of roads under PMGSY is a challenge which has to be dealt with total care and efficiency. “It is not a zero sum game, we cannot have one or the other way but strike a balance so that both go side by side and without hindering or hampering each other”, he said emphasizing the larger need of conserving water bodies, forests and natural wealth.

Replying the questions of the Probationary Officers, Omar Abdullah said that the tradition of preserving architecture, heritage and environment by the people in Ladakh is a positive sign in present day life style changing world. “You can find the old architect of Ladakh still being adopted while constructing modern infrastructure”, he said adding that this is of course a good sign.

Answering a question on forest cover in Jammu and Kashmir, the Chief Minister said that during the period of militancy there has been great damage to the forests particularly in North Kashmir and Pir Panchal area. He said measures have already been put in place to rejuvenate depleted forest areas through CAMPA and other initiatives.

News Updated at : Thursday, July 4, 2013
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