Centre asks states to augment disaster management preparedness

Express News Service
NEW DELHI: The Centre on Friday asked all states and union territories to enhance their preparedness for handling natural disasters like heavy rains, floods etc that may arise due to southwest monsoon, at a time when the country is still battling the Covid-19 pandemic.

Union Home Secretary Ajay Kumar Bhalla emphasized on the need of building up capacities and response reflexes to ensure round the clock preparedness to deal with impending disasters.

Bhalla also advised the states “to make extra efforts to secure all health facilities, oxygen generation plants” from heavy rains, floods or any other impending disaster during the South-West Monsoon.

Bhalla was presiding over the annual conference of relief commissioners and secretaries of the departments of disaster management of states/UTs. The senior bureaucrat asked both the Central and state agencies to be better prepared amid the Covid-19 pandemic, to minimize losses due to natural disasters such as floods, cyclones, earthquakes etc.

Issues linked to disaster preparedness, early warning systems, flood and river/reservoir management, disaster management on-site and off-site plans of the states and Union territories were discussed, the home ministry said, in a statement.

At the conference, the home secretary released version 4.0 of the National Database for Emergency Management (NDEM), developed by the National Remote Sensing Centre (NRSC), which the Centre said would be helpful in integration of real-time alerts and warnings from forecasting agencies and their dissemination to disaster management authorities up to district level for disaster risk reduction in the country.

“The IMD made a presentation on forecasting, warning and dissemination mechanism, response and preparedness measures and their future plans for enhancing capability in the field of disaster management,” read an official statement.The conference was attended by representatives of states and UTs, Central ministries, Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs), Central Water Commission (CWC ), Snow & Avalanche Study Establishment (SASE), NRSC, GSI, Armed Forces and NDRF.