In the wake of the Government of India’s declaration of the coronavirus infection as a notified disaster under the disaster management act 2005 and the personal protective equipment as essential commodities under the essential commodities act 1955 and then the J&K government’s declaration of it as an epidemic in J&K, the District Magistrate Srinagar Dr Shahid Iqbal Choudhary who is also the Chairman District Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) Srinagar under powers vested in him under the disaster management act 2005 Tuesday issued a set of directions to concerned departments and organisations as well as members of the general public the aim being to put in place an effective response mechanism to prevent the spread of the infection in Srinagar.
According to the order, all schools, colleges, universities, coaching centres and other educational institutions — government and private — shall continue to remain closed till further orders. The Heads of departments and institutions shall devise and submit proposal for televised coaching or classes by March 20 which shall be supported/financed by the district administration of Srinagar.
The order states that all Hostels and Canteens shall also remain closed till further notice. It also states that all gardens and parks in the district shall remain closed till further notice issued by DDMA Srinagar adding that it shall be the responsibility of concerned Estates Officer to ensure that parks are not opened to public in any case till such a notification is issued.
The order further directs that no restaurants, food courts, food joints, street food kiosks, roadside eateries, community kitchens, home delivery of food services etc. shall operate in district Srinagar till further notification by DDMA Srinagar.
Also, no conferences, workshops, rallies, gatherings, sit in protests etc. shall be organised till March 31, the order states, adding that no community hall, government or private, shall offer any booking, henceforth, for any public function, whether social or religious in nature.
It also directs that no gymnasiums, saloons, spas etc. shall operate till further orders, adding that no clubs, including Government/Semi Government/Private, shall operate till further notification by DDMA, and after proper sanitation, certification from SMC as and when required by the authority.
The order states that it shall be mandatory for tour operators, travel agencies to declare details of 100 per cent bookings done through them for all International/National air travel, which may include local road journeys, adding that Director Tourism Kashmir shall obtain such details and provide through nodal officer as finalised in the meeting held on March 16.
With regard to operation of public transport, the orders states that as of now the public transport shall remain under constant vigil by traffic police and traffic department as per the decisions taken in meeting of DDMA held on March 16. It directs that any vehicle found overloaded shall be seized by traffic police and not released till further orders.
It states that permits of vehicle and licences of driver shall be cancelled forthwith in case of overloading adding that transport operator unions have been sensitised about such measures in meeting held on March 16.
The order states that Deputy Director FCSCA has been designated as the Nodal Officer for provision of food and logistics to all quarantine centres as requisitioned by Director SKIMS, Principals of Medical Colleges, Director Health Kashmir and Chief Medical Officer Srinagar. It states that an amount of 1 crore rupees has been released to GMC, SMC, SKIMS, CMO and others for such measures as may be required for an effective response to mitigate the spread of Coronovirus.
It directs the concerned that the quarantine facilities (hospital and non-hospital) already obtained shall be notified immediately and requisite facilities put in place, also instructing that further steps shall be taken to improve testing facilities for which requisite assistance shall be provided by the DDMA.
The order directs managements and concerned authorities to take such steps as required to ensure that there is no public gathering at any public place or social or religious place till March 31. It states that the Directorate Health Services has deputed doctors and health professionals for public awareness in this regard.
It directs that the department of legal metrology and the drug controller organisation with active support of executive magistrates and police shall continue to conduct daily checks in markets and ensure that there is no violation of essential commodities act 1955 and furnish daily action taken report to DDMA control room latest by 1800 hrs without fail. It states that prosecution shall be initiated against defaulters.
The order states that the Commissioner SMC shall depute 5 nodal officers for different zones of Srinagar district for anchoring coordination among all departments and sister agencies for ensuring that all public places including bus stops, mandis, markets, etc. are sanitised with notified disinfectants.
It instructs for further strengthening of the team of health department deputed at airport in terms of manpower and logistics for effective screening of travellers. It states that required financial support will be provided by the DDMA. It states that Chief Medical Officer in coordination with Director Airport and Commandant CISF shall also obtain services from SMC for sanitisation and disinfection measures at the airport in such regular intervals as maybe required.
The order further states that ADC Srinagar shall liaise with all local TV channels and cable operators as wells as radio and FM channels to augment their efforts for community awareness in a professional manner and extend all such logistical and financial support as maybe required for a robust community outreach. It states that a panel of doctors has also been notified for regular slots on electronics media in this regard.
It states that GIS mapping of all cases including suspects under surveillance, quarantined and isolated, tested positive or negative shall be maintained in the DDMA control room on daily basis.
The order directs trading and business organisations to take steps required to avoid overcrowding. It wants that non-compliance would result in closure thereof.
With regard to waste management, the order directs that the SMC, hospitals and other stakeholders shall ensure that necessary steps are taken for scientific waste disposal. It warns that stringent action would be taken under the solid waste management rules 2016 in case of any violations.
The order directs the essential services department to put in place mechanism for round-the-clock response to public needs and issues adding that any lapse in this regard would be the personal responsibility of concerned district officer.
It further directs that all departments shall extend such services as maybe required by the Health, SMC, Police, Transport departments or any other organisation involved in measures authorised by the competent authority for containment of spread of coronavirus infection.
It states that JD Planning DDC Srinagar Office has been designated as the Nodal Officer for extending all required logistics or financial support to concerned agencies as and when required.
It further states that the district control room of DDMA is operational 24×4 and can be contacted for any assistance or information. It also urges the citizens to report any cases of violation or any areas of concern.
The order states that in case of any violation of the directions action as warranted under rules including section 51 of the disaster management act 2018, section 188 of IPC, essential commodities act 1955 and rules thereof shall be initiated against offenders.
It is further directed in the order that no regulatory or prohibitory orders shall be issued by any agency or organisation or department without written consent from or consultation with the District Disaster Management Authority Srinagar as provided under the law.