Saturday, June 29, 2013
State to get its own disaster management force......
BANGALORE 29th June 2013 Even as the Himalayan state of Uttarakhand is struggling to deal with a disaster that claimed hundreds of lives, Karnataka is putting in place a mechanism to help in handling natural and man-made disasters. It is in the process of acquiring satellite phones and forming a special force along the lines of the one in Gujarat and the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF). Gujarat’s state disaster management authority has been in place from 2001, with personnel recruited specifically to deal with natural calamities. Karnataka’s special force will have personnel drawn from the State Reserve Police (KSRP), State Industrial Security Force and Fire and Emergency Services. They will operate as a quick response team in times of emergencies. A government order on raising the State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) was issued on June 14, two days before the landslides and floods hit Uttarakhand. “We have started the process of raising four companies of the SDRF, which will be deployed in Bangalore, Mangalore, Belgaum and Gulbarga,” Om Prakash, DGP, Fire Services, Home Guards and Civil Defence, told Express. Each company will have 127 personnel, including a medical officer. “They will be trained and equipped in search and rescue missions, flood situations, fire emergencies and other eventualities,” said Om Prakash, who will also head the new force. While it will take three years to raise all four companies, the State Disaster Management Centre (SDMC), with the help of other departments, including Fire and Emergency Services, is taking several short-term measures. The number of people deployed at the Emergency Operation Centre at the SDMC headquarters has been increased from two to six in the last few days and the process of formation of District Disaster Management Centres (DDMC) is being expedited. “Currently, 18 districts have these centres at the Deputy Commissioner’s office. Soon, all districts will have such centres that will coordinate with the SDMC in case of emergencies,” a senior official told Express. “In the next 15 days, satellite phones will be provided to all the centres and State Disaster Management Centre to ensure fail-safe connectivity during emergencies,” the officer said. During emergencies, the SDMC will act as a nodal agency or control centre from where the situation will be monitored with the head of SDMC as the ‘Incident- Commander’. newindianexpress.com/states/karnataka/State-to-get-its-own-disaster-management-force/2013/06/29/article1658371.ece