Pulwama, Nov 23: Advisor to Lieutenant Governor, Baseer Ahmad Khan, visited south Kashmir districts to review the arrangements being put in place by the district administration for smooth conduct of upcoming District Development Council and Panchayat by-elections.
During the meeting, Advisor also reviewed winter preparedness of the districts of Pulwama, Shopian, Kulgam and Anantnag.
Deputy Commissioners of Pulwama and Shopian informed the Advisor about the measures being put in place by the administration to ensure smooth conduct of election process especially preparedness for distribution, collection and counting of votes and provisions of security to contesting candidates.
Meanwhile, the meeting was informed about the foolproof arrangements made by the district administrations to meet any eventuality during harsh winter conditions. It was apprised that men and machinery has been kept in a position of readiness especially in far-flung areas of both the districts. It was also informed that a 24*7 control rooms have been established to mitigate grievances of the public during winters besides sufficient stock has been dumped at various locations which otherwise remain inaccessible during heavy snowfall.
Advisor also reviewed the status of election preparations including location of polling stations, establishment of strong rooms, election training, deployment and return of polling staff. He directed the officers to formulate a proper plan for power supply at all polling stations and ensure availability of gen sets wherever necessary.
Advisor directed the concerned officers to ensure availability of all basic amenities at the designated polling stations including uninterrupted power and water supply and toilet points besides making proper heating arrangements. He asked for keeping ration and LPG available at polling stations wherever required. He also directed for preparing a comprehensive Snow Clearance Plan for all roads leading to polling booths in both the districts especially in far-flung areas besides making proper arrangements for accommodation of candidates, polling staff, police and security personnel.
Meanwhile, Advisor directed the concerned to ensure availability of buffer stock of transformers in case of damage to transformers. He also directed PDD officials to conduct enforcement drives to check the electricity theft in their respective areas. He directed officers to keep electricity available at hospitals and other essential service providing institutions. He asked the officials of line departments particularly PDD department to establish well equipped control room for facilitating the public and providing them timely information and assistance during the winter season.
The Advisor said that there is need for effective coordination among all the concerned Departments for effective implementation of the master plan for snow clearance. He directed the officers to remain available to people for early redressal of public grievances and stay at Headquarters for better coordination in dealing with snow clearance operations.
At Annatnag and Kulgam, the Advisor was informed that all arrangements including deployment of manpower, training of polling staff, communication plan, transportation plan, lodging, water, electricity, heating arrangements, toilet medical and ramp facilities at all the polling stations have been put in place for smooth conduct of elections in both the districts.
Advisor was also informed that a robust mechanism is in place for snow clearance for which adequate number of snow cutters and other machinery have been kept in a readiness mode at all the Tehsil Headquarters and vulnerable spots in both the districts. Besides, disaster management centres along the National Highway and other vulnerable spots have been fully equipped with all requisite facilities to tackle any situation arising due to bad weather. Also, buffer stock of all the essentials including ration, LPG and medicine are available in both the districts, the Advisor was informed further.
Advisor asked for establishing a Dedicated Control Room to ensure adequate power supply is made available to the people during winters.
Advisor directed both the DCs to ensure that all the arrangements with regard to smooth conduct of the elections are in place and winter preparedness is satisfactory in both the districts. He also asked the for ensuring strict adherence to all COVID–19 SOPs during the election process.
Among others the meeting was attended by Divisional Commissioner Kashmir, PK Pole, IG Kashmir, Vijay Kumar, DCs of both the districts, DIG South Kashmir and SSPs of both the districts.