Union Home Minister Amit Shah today exhorted all those working in Disaster response and mitigation sectors to make India number one in this field. Addressing the “Annual Conference on Capacity Building of SDRFs, Civil Defence, Home Guard and Fire Services” organised by the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) in New Delhi, he 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 ourcountry number one in the world in mitigating and responding to natural disasters, he added.
The Home Minister assured that the Government would provide all 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, Shri Amit Shah 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. He 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.