NEW DELHI: Union Home Minister Amit Shah exhorted all those working in Disaster response and mitigation sectors to make India number one in this field. He asked National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) to work for making India number one in disaster response in the world.
Minister cautions on growing incidents of forest fires in hilly regions and asks NDRF to be better prepared to meet the threat. He called for indigenous manufacture of equipment used in disaster rescue and relief operations.
Addressing a Conference on Disaster Response, Minister said the nation came a long way over the last two decades in its response to disasters and improved its capabilities in minimising loss of human lives and damage to economy.
He cited the Orissa cyclone in 1999 in which more than 10,000 people had died in comparison to the recent cyclone “Foni” that claimed 64 lives, which reflected the huge capabilities built in Disaster Response mechanisms. But we should not rest till we make our country number one in the world in mitigating and responding to natural disasters, he added.
The Minister assured that the Govt. would provide necessary resources and equipment to realise this objective and suggested that the personnel in Disaster response forces should be trained to display compassion and commitment at the ground level during rescue and relief operations.
While cautioning that India is prone to multiple disasters, Minister pointed out that frequent forest fires breaking out in hilly regions is a growing threat which needs to be responded to effectively.
He directed NDRF, SDRF and other agencies concerned to conduct systematic analysis after each operation to identify possible weaknesses and measures to rectify them. The Minister exhorted NDRF to coordinate with agencies such as DRDO in order to get the disaster relief equipment manufactured indigenously.
He urged NDRF to explore enlisting the assistance of PSUs and private enterprises in procuring disaster relief equipment which could be used in rescue and relief operations during disasters in that area.