Himachal Govt. to setting up of Disaster Mitigation Fund

Shimla: Himachal Pradesh is 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 it’s necessary that houses should be constructed by adopting scientific technologies to make them earthquake resistance.

To discuss the issue, 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 conducted 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.

Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur echoed to take effective steps to build safer and disaster resilient Himachal by developing a holistic, pro-active, multi-disaster, technology driven and community-based strategy for disaster management through collective efforts of all government agencies and non-governmental organisations.

The CM revealed that efforts were being made to train the youth for mitigation of disaster. He stated

“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.”

Govt to train 16,130 carpenters to promote construction of safe houses

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.

HP Govt approved school safety project

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.

Need to adopt traditional technologies for construction of houses

Housing, Urban and Town Country Planning Minister Sarveen Chaudhary felt the need to adopt traditional technologies for construction of houses, particularly in the hilly states. She said

“State Government was encouraging construction of houses as per map for which approvals were being given within one. She urged the general public for construction of their buildings as per rules so that losses due to natural calamities could be minimized.”

Chief Secretary Dr Shrikant Baldi said that need was to strengthen the lifeline building such as Secretariat, DC offices, fire stations, police stations, telecommunication network, important bridges and water tanks etc. which would provide immediate relief measures in case of natural calamity. He also felt the need for scientific approach for muck disposable coming out due to road and other infrastructure construction as it leads to landslides and flash floods.

Himalayan states should have Disaster Response Forces

Member, National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), Union Ministry of Home Affairs, said that development must be carried out in such a way that it does not increase the risk of disaster.  He said

“at time one disaster leads to a chain of disasters, therefore steps should be taken immediately to mitigate the disaster risk.”

He also stressed for setting up State’s own Disaster Response Forces, at least for Himalayan States. He said that steps should be taken for improving connectivity and communication network in the State and NGOs should use come forward to develop community disaster management plan up to the village level.