LG calls for channelizing strategies in management of disaster in isles

Port Blair
13 Dec 2017

With a view to create disaster awareness amongst the stakeholders, so that they can respond to any disaster, the Directorate of Disaster Management, A&N Administration, in coordination with Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services (INCOIS), Hyderabad organized a day long workshop for capacity building of all Disaster Management Functionaries of this Union Territory. The Lt. Governor, A&N Islands, Admiral DK Joshi, PVSM, AVSM, YSM, NM, VSM (Retd.) inaugurated the workshop as the chief guest by lighting the traditional oil lamp in the conference hall of Megapode Resort on Wednesday. The Chief Secretary, A&N Administration, Mr Anindo Majumdar, DGP, Smti Nuzhat Hassan, Principal Secretary (DM&RR), Mr SCL Das, Head, Tsunami Warning Center (INCOIS), Mr E. Pattabhi, stakeholders from various Departments, Senior Officers of the Administration and Scientists from INCOIS, Hyderabad were present on this occasion.
Addressing the gathering, the Lt. Governor expressed happiness on the conduct of such an important workshop for capacity building of disaster management functionaries of A&N Islands. Though the lessons learnt from the devastating Tsunami of 2004 has led to deliberations on disaster management through knowledge gained from participation in international workshops and conferences, yet there is a need for identifying the areas where more preparations are needed, said the Lt. Governor. “We cannot prevent disaster from occurring, but its management is very important. Hence, our strategies have to be channelized in management of disaster by strengthening the capacity building of all stakeholders, minimizing the impact on life and property besides several other components”, he said. The Lt. Governor also informed that in addition to these, an Early Warning & Communication System has also been set up, which is linked up with four VSATs of Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services, Ministry of Home Affairs, Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited and National Disaster Management Authority.
The Lt. Governor further stated that there is a need to harness technology in order to get early warnings and prevent loss of time. He expressed happiness that a number of other steps have also been initiated to strengthen the disaster management and preparedness in the Islands to improve the Tsunami Early Warning System by setting up permanent GPS Observatories across the Islands which will record the activity of different parameters round the clock and uplink it through satellites. This, he said, will trigger immediate warning alert of any disaster in the Islands.
The Chief Secretary, Mr Anindo Majumdar said, the workshop is a part of the ongoing efforts of the Administration for capacity building of all stakeholders and has been organized after the recent visit to INCOIS wherein representatives from A&N Administration were informed about the measures taken by INCOIS and steps that need to be taken by the Administration in Disaster preparedness and capacity building. The Chief Secretary remarked that since we are situated in a vulnerable location, we must be better prepared by involving various stakeholders besides the rural communities in Disaster Management. He also informed about the visit of the representative of A&N Islands to Japan for a 40 day course on disaster management and preparedness.
Welcoming the gathering, the Principal Secretary (DM&RR), Shri SCL Das said, this workshop is a sequel to the visit of the Chief Secretary and Director, Disaster Management to INCOIS recently. The Principal Secretary also lauded INCOIS for being a great partner for A&N Administration in Disaster Management by giving valuable suggestions and guidance in terms of infrastructure development, disaster preparedness and warnings. He said, multi agency efforts and participation is required for disaster management. He also expressed hope that the workshop would yield beneficial outputs for all stakeholders which will be disseminated to all the Departments; which in turn, will be carried to the public at large. He further said that Disaster Management in India has not been traditionally mainstreamed; it is a relatively recent phenomenon. He said, during the last 12 years, lot of learning, capacity addition have taken place and A&N Islands have been one of the active entities in terms of participation, capacity building. However, he said, there are areas where more works need to be done viz. disaster reduction and prevention.
The Director, Disaster Management, Shri Govind Ram said, in hospitality nature is most beautiful and lovely but in hostility the very same nature is most brutal and ugly. It is pertinent to make our disaster management preparedness foolproof so that we become disaster resilient, he said. A video presentation by INCOIS on Indian Ocean Tsunami Mock 2016 was screened on the occasion followed by presentation on Indian Tsunami Early Warning System (components, Standard Operation Procedure (SOP), bulletins and dissemination) and presentation on end to end Tsunami Warning (Stakeholders, roles & responsibilities, SOP, guidelines and linkage). Later, a technical session was held in which experts from various Departments spoke on topics related to Standard Operating Procedures and roles of State Control Room, role of ANC, NDRF, Police, Health Department, District Administrations of South Andaman, N&M Andaman and Nicobar District. This was followed by suggestions/modifications for Mock Tsunami Drill by stakeholders. A tabletop exercise was also presented by INCOIS on the occasion. The workshop concluded with the summing up of the deliberations by the Director, Disaster Management, Mr Govind Ram.