September 23, 2008 :Prof. Prem Kumar Dhumal, Chief Minister emphasized the need to make a study on possible disasters, its possible repercussions in Himachal Pradesh, so that it could help the State with minimum response time in such an eventuality. This was stated by him in his inaugural address of the Civil and Military Liaison Conference held at Western Command headquarters at Chandimandir, near Chandigarh today.
Chief Minister said that although the natural phenomenon were beyond human control, but would be instrumental to mitigate loss to human lives in case of natural disasters. He said that the study should take into consideration the manpower, machinery and material available in the districts, as also the resources available with the Military forces. He said that the State had a very fragile strata and falls in high seismic zone, which demands preparedness to face any disaster effectively. He said that many parts of the State remain land locked during winter season and in such inhospitable and harsh climatic conditions, people bank upon Government for public distribution system.
Prof. Dhumal said that two major roads, one connecting China border through Kinnaur and the other connecting Leh through Leh were being maintained by BRD authorities and of utmost importance to the State keeping in view its strategic importance and for being the supply line to the tribal districts. He said that road construction wing of Army, BRD needed to pay special attention towards the regular maintenance and upkeep, since major portion of the roads remain hurried under heavy snow during winter season and the vehicular traffic was also increasing substantially. He emphasized the need to keep both the roads open for winter for maximum period of time in an year.
Chief Minister said that the armed forces had been playing vital role in checking cross border terrorism and maintain internal security in the neighbouring State of J& K. He said that with the mounting pressure of military forces upon the staff, the over effect of terrorist activities was evident in the border district of Chamba. He said that the State was being considered as a soft target to the miscreants keeping in view the peaceful nature of the people.
Prof. Dhumal said that the State had geared up its machinery to meet any threat of the anti-national elements He hoped that the army was fully equipped to lend its cooperative hand to combat such threats. He also emphasised for greater need to maintain closer liaison between the military, State police and civil administration, to share all available information frequently.
Chief Minister said that the role of Army, Civil Administration, Para Military Forces and Police personnel had increased substantially whether in war or peace time. He emphasized more closer coordination and harmonious relations, especially in the time of natural calamities, terrorism, maintaining law and order and the disaster management. He thanked army for the cooperation it extended to the State in combating the situation during the time of flash floods to carry rescue operation and relief measures. He paid his deepest gratitudes to the families of army officers and who sacrificed their lives laying while the Akpa bridge over river Sutlej in district Kinnaur in 2005.
Prof. Dhumal said that the State had 1,21,510 serving soldiers and 99,884 ex-serviceman besides 1039 war widows. He said that large number of gallantry awards had been given to the soldiers hailing to Himachal Pradesh. He committed the resolve of his Government to look after the welfare, relief, rehabitation and resettlement needs of the serving and ex-serviceman of the State. He said that the State had numerous schemes formulated aimed at their welfare, while the second world war widows had been provided enhanced financial assistance of Rs. 500. He said that 15 percent reservations was being provided to the ex-serviceman in the Government jobs at all levels He added that disabled ex-serviceman were being provided enhanced financial assistance of Rs. 5000 out of special funds for reconstruction and rehabilitation and the margin money for ex-servicemen had been enhanced from Rs. 50,000 to Rs. One lakh besides many other benefits. He said that a separate Sainik Welfare Department had also been opened. He emphasised the need for organising frequent meetings between military and district administration to sort out local problems amicably.
Prof. Dhumal said that joint inspections would be carried by army and civil authorities to mark the cableways and transmission lines in Kinnaur district to avert any accident as also to facilitate the smooth flying of helicopters. He said that efforts were afoot to minimize the transmission lines on Sutlej basins, where more hydro electric projects were likely to come up in the near future. He assured the army authorities of all possible assistance to provide land for the implementation of Jai Jawan Awas Yojna by the concerned Deputy Commissioners. He assured the army authorities of full cooperation in discharging their duties and responsibilities more effectively.
Chief Minister said that he was hopeful of getting the Pathankot-Leh railway line construction materialized in the interest of the nation and the armed forces guarding the borders in Laddakh area. He said that private players had offered to construct the same on BOT basis. He said that the State would always be looking forward to more closer ties and regular interactions between the civil and military authorities to resolve all the issues mutually amicably.
Lt. Gen. T.K. Sapru, YSM, GOC-in-C, Western Command welcomed the Chief Minister and thanked him for maintenance of very cardial civil and military relations. He thanked him for the financial grants he released to one of the soldier Sep. Dawa Dorje in saving the life of his son. He said that the military had always been extending its cooperation in disasters, natural climatic and other moments. He emphasised the need for more and better coordination between civil and military authorities for better results. He assured the Chief Minister of all possible help from the armed forces.
Major General P.C. Ranjkaran, General Staff Western Command proposed vote of thanks and hoped that the decisions taken in the matter would be implemented by civil and military authorities.
Shri Subhash Negi, Principal Secretary Home, Shri R.K. Jain, Principal Secretary and Chairman HPSEB Shri Balram Sharma, Secretary PWD, Shri G.S. Gill, DGP, Shri B.K. Aggarwal, Secretary to Chief Minister, Shri Arun Kumar, Principal Private Secretary to Chief Minister, Dr. Amanadeep Garg, Deputy Commissioner Solan, Shri Pushpender Rajput, Deputy Commissioner, Sirmour and senior officers attended the meeting.