Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu has given his nod for the creation of State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) to strengthen disaster management systems in Andhra Pradesh.
This force would initially have a battalion of 100 personnel who would be trained to handle disasters and would be drawn from various forces in cases of disasters in the state, an official statement said.
In a review meeting held yesterday at Secretariat, the Chief Minister asked officials to immediately create an inventory of equipment that can be used by the government during disasters.
“During Cyclone Hudhud, it was extremely difficult to mobilise equipment. We need to avoid such situations and have an inventory of equipment to respond to disasters immediately,” he added.
Stating that resource mapping during disasters is crucial, Naidu said, “within 24 hours of any major disaster, we should be able to begin restoration and relief works. This can only happen if the inventory of equipment is in place.”
The Chief Minister also directed officials to create District Emergency Operation Centres.
“We can train DWCRA (Development of Women and Children in Rural Areas) groups on handling equipment. This will not only help us mobilise resources quickly but also help us respond immediately to local disasters,” he said, adding that industries and SEZs too should be equipped with latest equipment.
He also said that regular drills on safety and rescue should be held in schools and colleges to create awareness among students on how to respond during disasters.
“We can train them in order to mobilise them as volunteers during disasters”.
During the meeting, the Chief Minister also gave his nod for strengthening the State Disaster Management Authority (SDMA).
“The SDMA of Andhra Pradesh should be the best in the country,” he said, adding that currently Gujarat and Odisha have good disaster management systems.
On the National Cyclone Risk Mitigation Project (NCRMP) that covers nine coastal districts, the Chief Minister asked the department to come up with an action plan on preparedness for disasters.
“Disasters should not only include natural disasters but also any accidents which need preparedness and immediate help. Be it a chemical accident at a factory or accident at an industry or just a fire, we should be prepared to handle everything by ensuring zero human loss,” he added.