Shimla: Himachal Pradesh is considering allocation of Mitigation Fund for disaster management. Himachal Pradesh government is committed to build safer and disaster resilient state by developing a holistic, pro-active, multi-disaster, technology for disaster management through collective efforts of all government agencies and non-governmental organisations.
Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur said that while presiding over the two days regional workshop on “Challenges of Disaster Risk Reduction in Hill Towns” for the stakeholders of Uttrakhand, Jammu and Kashmir, union territory of Ladakh and Himachal Pradesh, here today. The workshop has being organized by the State Disaster Management Authority (HPSDMA) and HP Council for Science Technology and Environment (HIMCOSTE) in collaboration with the National Disaster Management Authority, Ministry of Home, Government of India.
Jai Ram Thakur said that Himachal Pradesh was prone to various hazards both natural hazards such as earthquakes, landslides, flash floods, snow storms and avalanches, draughts etc. and manmade hazards like dam failures, fires, accidents, besides biological, industrial and hazardous chemicals etc. Moreover, the State falls in seismic zone five and was prone to earthquakes and thus houses should be constructed by adopting scientific technologies to make them earthquake resistance. He said that effective steps must be taken to mitigate the same by ensuring effective early warning system. He also expressed concern that people were still occupying the houses which were in bad condition.
Jai Ram Thakur said that a target had been fixed to train as many as 16,130 carpenters to promote construction of safe houses. Besides, a plan had been formulated under the Hospital Safety Scheme to strengthen health services up to community health centre (CHC) level so that effective services could be provided in case of any disaster. A special scheme had been formulated to strengthen lifeline building, he added.
He said that efforts were being made to train the youth for mitigation of disaster. At least ten to fifteen youth would be trained in every gram panchayat and in the first phase 48,390 youth would be trained in rescuing and providing first aid to the victims. He said the SDMA did a commendable service last year by rescuing over 4000 people struck in Chamba, Kullu and Lahaul Spiti districts due to untimely snow by executing operation ‘White Himalaya’.
Jai Ram Thakur said that the State Government had also approved school safety project under which disaster management plan would be prepared and mock drills would be conducted by the educational institutions. The Government of India has sanctioned one National Disaster Response Battalion for the State and the State Government was also working on setting up its own State Disaster Response Force.
The Chief Minister said that efforts should be made to build a disaster resilient Himachal by capacity building at all levels for preparedness to mitigate and stop occurrence of disasters. The active participation of stakeholders besides political and legal commitment, scientific knowledge, warning system and optimum use of technology was required for mitigation of disaster risks. He said that better coordination between the Centre and State Governments was also vital to lessen the risks of disasters. The State would consider setting up Disaster Mitigation Fund, so that funds could be released for providing immediate relief to the affected community.