Union Home Secretary Goyal calls for capacity building to tackle disasters
New Delhi: Union Home Secretary L.C. Goyal has called for building capacities of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and State Disaster Response Forces (SDRFs) to tackle natural and man-made disasters effectively. Inaugurating the Annual Conference of Relief Commissioners/Secretaries Department of Disaster Management of States/UTs to review the status of preparedness for South West Monsoon 2015, here today, Shri Goyal said that the primary responsibility of disaster management rests with the State Governments. Noting that only 21 States have constituted SDRFs, the Union Home Secretary said that he expected the other States to set up SDRFs in a given timeframe and the States should utilize the funds given to them by the 14th Finance Commission for this purpose. On its part, the Central Government has already sanctioned two more Battalions in addition to the 10 existing Battalions of NDRF to supplement the efforts of the State Governments. NDMA is also giving technical support and logistics to the States, he added.
Pointing out that the three Câ€™s,- Capacity, Coordination and Community Participation, – are the pillar stones of Disaster Management, Shri Goyal said that the role of Civil Society including NGOs has become critical in Disaster Management. He said that Disaster Management is a joint effort and preparedness becomes critical in hour of crisis to tackle the disaster effectively. He called for the government Authorities, Civil Authorities, NGOs and each and everyone to join in this real social service which is related to the saving of human lives. He said that every warning issued by the India Meteorological Department must be taken seriously whether it is big or small. Shri Goyal said that the flood situation due to Jhelum river in Jammu & Kashmir and Brahmaputra in Assam cannot be tackled without periodic dredging. The Union Home Secretary also said that the Annual Conference should be held twice a year. Every year, apart from this Annual Conference, another conference should be held in October/November to review/assess the works done in this field and take lessons and best practices for better management of different disasters.
In his address, Director General NDRF, Shri O.P. Singh said that during the Nepal earthquake, it was proven that the NDRF capacities are second to none as regards Search and Rescue (S&R) methods and equipments in a situation where S&R teams from 34 countries were present.
Shri R.K. Jain, Member Secretary, NDMA said that though we are now able to save more human lives due to floods, still more attention needs to be paid to minimizing loss to livelihood including livestock.
Earlier Shri B.K Prasad, Additional Secretary, and Shri K.K. Pathak, Joint Secretary Disaster Management also addressed the conference. Relief Commissioners and Secretaries of Department of Disaster Management of States and UTs, besides top officials of NDMA, IMD, ISRO, CWC, GSI, NIC, NDRF, NIDM and UNDP participated in the daylong conference.