Punjab sets up disaster committee to tackle emergency situation

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Chandigarh, Oct 2 (IANS) The Punjab government on Sunday announced the constitution of a high-level Disaster Management Committee headed by the Chief Secretary to tackle any emergency situation occurring after the recent surgical strikes on the international borders with Pakistan.

An official spokesman said that the newly constituted Disaster Management Committee would comprise Additional Chief Secretaries, Home, Agriculture, Education, Principal Secretary, Health, Secretaries, PWD B&R, Irrigation, and Public Health, the Director General of Police, Punjab, the Director General of Police, Law and Order and Inspector General of Police, Intelligence.

The committee had a video conference with the senior officers of six border districts, namely Pathankot, Gurdaspur, Amritsar, Taran Tarn, Ferozepur and Fazilka, and reviewed the latest situation there.

“Villages falling within 10-km of the International Border have been evacuated. About 60 villages in Fazilka, 300 in Ferozepur, 135 in Taran Tarn, 137 in Amritsar, 290 in Gurdaspur and 65 in Pathankot have been evacuated so far in view of the escalating situation. The districts administration of these districts has been put on high alert,” the spokesman said.

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The government has directed the civil and police officers to be ready and cautious to handle any emergency, he added.

“Instructions have also been sent to the MLAs and other members of the elected bodies to be stationed there in their respective constituencies and stand by the side of the people in this hour of crisis.

“Nearly 1,500 police and PAP (Punjab Armed Police) jawans have been deployed as the second line of defense in the border areas. Besides this senior officers have been especially posted to oversee the entire evacuation process besides identifying suitable locations for setting up of more camps, if needed. They have also been told to ensure that the residents being evacuated were not put to any inconvenience,” the spokesman said.

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