Dehradun: Union minister Kiren Rijiju on Friday said policymakers should be sensitised to the need for disaster risk reduction and resilience, given the increasing frequency and intensity of natural calamities.
“If we are not prepared, even one disaster can devastate everything and neutralise all developmental efforts,” the minister said at the valedictory function of the 6th World Congress on Disaster Management here.
“Considering the growing frequency and intensity of disasters, policymakers should be sensitised to the need for disaster risk reduction and resilience. Our policies need to be framed with these factors in mind so that even if there is an earthquake measuring 7 on the Richter scale, people remain unharmed,” he said.
Lauding the “professional” manner in which 41 workers were rescued safely after an under-construction tunnel partially collapsed in Uttarakhand’s Silkyara, the Union minister said the way disasters are being handled under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi shows the emergence of a strong India.
The workers, who got trapped in the tunnel on November 12, were rescued after a gruelling 17-day operation that culminated on Tuesday evening.
On the involvement of multiple agencies and national and international experts in the rescue operation, Rijiju said it was a laudable and successful operation.
He said he saw the Dehradun Declaration containing suggestions and recommendations of experts participating in the sixth edition of the WCDM but the success of these events depends on how effectively the message is taken to the community level.
“The goal of such events is to make every individual disaster-resilient so that they know what is to be done within 30 minutes of a calamity to secure themselves,” the minister said.
He said the India Meteorological Department will also have to shift from weather forecasts to weather management.
“The way accurate forecasts about a cyclone help in evacuation, we have to move towards more precise weather warnings in case of other natural calamities too,” the Union minister said.
The four-day Congress in which delegates from various countries participated covered topics such as space-based information for disaster management, building resilience of communities through ecosystem-based approaches, marine disaster management and inland water resources impact on environment.