NEW DELHI: The home ministry on Friday asked all the states and Union territories to ramp up their preparedness for dealing with natural disasters like rains and floods that may arise due to southwest monsoon, particularly as the country is still fighting the Covid-19 pandemic.
During the annual conference of relief commissioners and secretaries of the departments of disaster management of states/UTs, chaired by home secretary A K Bhalla, the latter stressed on the need for building capacity and response reflexes to ensure 24×7, round-the-year preparedness against natural disasters. He advised the disaster management and relief authorities to make extra efforts to secure all health facilities, oxygen generation plants from heavy rains/floods during the southwest monsoon or any other impending disaster.
The home secretary 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.
Friday’s conference was attended by representatives of states and UTs, Central ministries, Central Armed Police Forces, India Meteorological Department (IMD), Central Water Commission (CWC), Snow & Avalanche Study Establishment (SASE), NRSC, ISRO, GSI, Armed Forces and NDRF. 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 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.