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J&K government declares 'heavy snowfall' as natural calamity under SDRF

J&K government declares 'heavy snowfall' as natural calamity under SDRF

Extending the much needed relief to the people of snow-bound areas of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K), Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha on Sunday declared "heavy snowfall" as state specific natural calamity under the state disaster response fund (SDRF) norms.

Heavy snowfall in Kashmir has resulted in total disruption of surface and air traffic. The Srinagar-Jammu national highway is closed while flight operations at the Srinagar airport have been suspended.

The LG was chairing a meeting to take stock of the winter management, particularly, snow clearance efforts of administration, with all DCs and SSPs of Kashmir division, through virtual mode, at the Raj Bhavan.

Pertinently, 'heavy snowfall' was not figuring in the list of natural calamities under SDRF norms, due to which disbursement of relief and ex-gratia for damages due to heavy snowfall was not possible for the district disaster management authorities.

The LG directed that 4X4 rescue vehicles or ambulances be provided to snow-affected districts with immediate effect for helping the people in distress.

"Be visible and take early measures. Need more feet in the ground. Quickly reach out to the people to address their needs and requirements", Sinha told the meeting of officials where he made the announcement to declare heavy snowfall as natural calamity.

He also lauded the efforts of employees working 24X7 on ground in challenging climatic conditions..