Rajnath Singh reviews preventive steps to avoid 2013 U’khand disaster

New Delhi: Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh has reviewed the progress of restoration works following the 2013 natural disaster in Uttarakhand.

In a meeting held here on Tuesday, Singh reviewed the position in respect of number of missing persons and progress in issuance of the death certificates.

According to an official statement officials of the Uttarakhand Government informed the Home Minister of the precautionary measures taken this year to avoid disaster like last year.

The state government said that they have made arrangements for registration of pilgrims and tourists for regulating the yatra to avoid any eventuality.

Road restoration works on each of the yatra routes, i.e. Kedarnath, Badrinath, Yamunotri, Gangotri and Hemkund were also reviewed.

The Home Minister was informed that most of the roads have been made operational for vehicular traffic.

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) informed that it would be issuing three day advance weather bulletins for 14 identified locations in Uttarakhand from June 20, and these would be updated on a twelve hourly basis.

The IMD was advised to use simple language in their warnings and bulletins to enable their effective implementation on the ground.

It was decided that the state government would share the contact numbers of the registered pilgrims and tourists with the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology, so that weather forecasting to be used by the IMD could be shared with both tourists and pilgrims through bulk SMSs.

On the request of the state government, the Department of Space has been advised to check the possible artificial dam/lake formation and vulnerable areas on the basis of IMD warning through their satellite images and share the same with the state government on daily basis.

It was decided that the Central Water Commission should share their hydrological reports/warnings on Uttarakhand with the state government on a daily basis.

The IMD would also be taking steps to install three Doppler Weather stations in Uttarkashi, Nainital and Mussoori.

The National Disaster Response Force had already prepositioned two teams in Srinagar and Almora in consultation with the state government. The state government was offered some satellite phones from the stock of National Disaster Response Force as emergency communication system.

Singh emphasised the need for regular interaction among the concerned stakeholders and directed that all possible measures should be taken to avoid a repeat of tragic incident. He said all possible support should be extended in a timely manner by all the central ministries, departments and agencies to authorities of Uttarakhand to meet any eventuality in the Monsoon season.

Union Home Secretary Anil Goswami, Secretary (Border Management) Sneh Lata Kumar, Dr. Shyam S. Agrawal, Secretary, NDMA, Member Secretary Planning Commission, Sindhushree Khullar, Lt. Gen. A.T. Parnaik, Director General, Border Roads Organisation, representatives of the Uttarakhand Government, India Meteorological Department, Ministry of Road Transport and Highways and National Disaster Response Force were present at the meeting.

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