Wednesday , 17 October 2018

New disaster management mechanism in the works




Admitting that there are no standard operating procedures in the state disaster management mechanism, Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar on Wednesday said  that a new disaster management mechanism is being worked out and  will be ready by March 2018.

Speaking to media persons, Parrikar said that he has already discussed the matter of SOPs with  Revenue Minister Rohan Khaunte on Tuesday,  asking him to work out such procedures for disaster management.

“The biggest problem is that we do not have standard operating procedures in every aspect. So the people don’t know what to do next (when a disaster  strikes),” he maintained. The government is already in touch with an  agency which has   expertise in disaster management.

Parrikar observed that Goa is lucky  that it does not fall in disaster prone zone  in all respects:  whether it be cyclone, earthquake or floods.  But he clarified  that he is not justifying  under-preparedness  vis-à-vis disaster management.

“When I was defence minister I handled such kind of disasters… so I am aware of it,” Parrikar said, narrating an incident that occurred in Jammu and Kashmir in 2014 where the Army was engaged in rescue operations.

Stating that the Army has separate mechanism for disaster management, the Chief Minister said  the state too  needs completely independent mechanism which will have data storage centres.

He said that Goa has  two separate disaster recovery units where  IT data is stored.

“Once we have teams, which is are  being formed, I will definitely discuss with the Army for more inputs on forming independent mechanism for disaster management,” Parrikar said.

Asserting  that the recent surge in seawater   in the state was not a “disaster”, Parrikar admitted  that damages indeed took place, and the government will help those whose establishments were legal and  which suffered damages due to cyclone Ockhi.

Meanwhile, the state cabinet has resolved to contribute an amount of Rs 5 crore to the Prime Minister’s Relief Fund in order to mitigate the impact of Ockhi in southwest  India.

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