Tuesday, Nov 29, 2022

Chandigarh Administration ill-equipped to deal with disaster

To handle any disaster, the District Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) has a bunch of 24 ill-trained home guard volunteers for a population of over 10.55 lakh.

chandigarh, chandigarh disaster management, disaster management chandigarh, chandigarh news, ddma chandigarh, chandigarh ddma In a recent incident in which six persons died and 11 were left seriously injured while digging an illegal basement in a bay shop in Sector 26, the volunteers carried out the operation without having personal safety equipment

City residents have a reason to worry as the Chandigarh Administration is ill-prepared and ill-equipped to deal with any eventuality. Chandigarh falls in seismic zone IV of earthquake-prone areas.

To handle any disaster, the District Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) has a bunch of 24 ill-trained home guard volunteers for a population of over 10.55 lakh. To make matters worse, the volunteers have not been provided with basic equipment which is necessary in emergency situations.

In a recent incident in which six persons died and 11 were left seriously injured while digging an illegal basement in a bay shop in Sector 26, Transport Area, displaying a lot of courage, the volunteers carried out the operation without having personal safety equipment such as helmet, gloves and proper shoes. Not only this, there is no quick reaction team (QRT). At present, the authority has just been given one van which has no equipment to deal with emergency situations. The authority is functioning from a basement of State Library in Sector 17 library which is not equipped with a proper communication system.

The Chandigarh Administration claims that it has been taking up the issue of staff shortage and procurement of required equipment with the Centre since 2008, but in vain.

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The mega mock drill conducted by the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) in 2013 against earthquake had exposed the lack of coordination among various agencies, including fire brigade, ambulance, police and teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF).

Air raid precaution warning system not functional

AIR raid precaution warning system, which sounds an alert warning of approaching enemy aircraft, is not functioning at all the locations. The authority has installed an emergency hooter at 20 locations of which five sirens are not working. These sirens have not been functional since 2010. The officials claim that they have taken up the matter with the authorities concerned.

NDMA guidelines ignored

THE Chandigarh Administration has failed to implement the guidelines framed by NDMA 2012. The guidelines call for creating the basic infrastructure, adopting modern technologies, community participation through awareness, setting up a good communication system, developing fire services into multi-hazard response unit and capacity-building of their officers.

Stress on disaster management in Master Plan

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THE Chandigarh Master Plan 2031 has laid emphasis on disaster management. The plan has recommended hazard analysis which involves mapping of areas prone to disasters. It also called for a need to conduct critical facilities analysis aimed at identifying the critical facilities in the city such as educational institutes, police station, hospitals, fire and rescue stations. As these facilities play an important role in disaster response and recovery, the plan emphasised the need to protect these facilities to ensure that disruption of public services is minimised during the disaster.

Officialspeak

ACCEPTING the flaws, Prince Dhawan, nodal officer of DDMA, says that corrective steps have been taken to strengthen the disaster management system. The administration has decided to earmark funds from its own budget for disaster management. “The funds will be used to purchase equipment and making the system effective,” says Dhawan. “We plan to have four quick reaction teams, which are not there at present.”
The Chandigarh Administration has accorded approval for transferring a total of 200 home guard volunteers to DDMA. It has also written to the Centre to sanction posts for DDMA.

First published on: 11-01-2016 at 08:59:55 am
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