New Delhi: Home Minister Amit Shah on Saturday urged all those working in disaster response forces to make India number one in the world in mitigating and responding to natural disasters.
Addressing the “Annual Conference on Capacity Building of SDRFs, Civil Defence, Home Guard and Fire Services” organised by the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), he hailed the forces for their efforts to make sure that there should be minimum or no loss of lives during disasters and natural calamity in the last two decades.
Drawing a comparison between Odisha cyclone in 1999 in which more than 10,000 people had died to the recent cyclonic storm “Fani” that claimed 64 lives, Shah said that it reflected the huge capabilities built in disaster response mechanisms in the country.
“But we should not rest till we make our country number one in the world in mitigating and responding to natural disasters,” he said.
Shah gave an assurance hat the government would provide all necessary resources and equipment to realise the dream of becoming number one 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.
“All your needs will be fulfilled. You will get all the resources and the buildings will be constructed. But disaster management is not done by constructing buildings unless there is a feeling from within. One will not be able to yield the result if do not have a desire,” he said.
“NDRF has done a lot of good work over the years. I had like to thank NDRF not just as a minister but also as a citizen. NDRF should work towards collaborating with DRDO to upgrade their equipment to make them indigenous in next five years,” he added.
While cautioning that India is prone to multiple disasters, Shah pointed out that frequent forest fires breaking out in hilly regions is a growing threat which needs to be responded effectively.
He directed the NDRF, SDRF and other agencies concerned to conduct systematic analysis after each operation to identify possible weaknesses and measures to rectify them.
He also 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.
Meanwhile, Shah lauded Prime Minister Narendra for having laid the foundation stone of Gujarat disaster management department in 2001 as chief minister.
“In 2001, a devastating earthquake had struck Gujarat. The then Chief Minister Narendra Modi laid the foundation of Gujarat disaster management. After that, the work on disaster management picked up the pace across the country,” he said.
“I truly believe that we can combat the disaster if all our sectors are well equipped. Everything should match with the international standards. Therefore, I request all of you to get in touch with the DRDO to modernise your equipments,” he added.