India to set up disaster database before 2020: Rijiju

New Delhi: Highlighting the need to systemise disaster data by setting up a database on a sustainable basis, Union Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju on Wednesday said it will be India’s endeavour to set up disaster database expeditiously well before the target date of 2020, an official statement said.

Presenting India’s stand at the Asian Ministerial Conference of Disaster Risk Reduction (AMCDRR) being held at Mongolia’s Ulaanbaatar between July 3 and 6, he outlined that India believes in working together with other nations in Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR), said a Home Ministry statement.

Heading a high level Indian delegation attending the global platform for DRR, Rijiju said: “There are common challenges, benefits of sharing best practices and a need to respond together for search and rescue. Towards this end, India had organized a Joint Exercise of SAARC Nations in 2015, BIMSTEC Nations in 2017 and for SCO nations will organize another exercise in 2019.”

He said there is the need to systemise disaster data by setting up a disaster database on a sustainable basis.

“Towards this end, we recently organised a national workshop to brainstorm various aspects and challenges that we are likely to encounter in setting up of a national disaster database. It will be our endeavour to set up disaster database expeditiously well before the target date of 2020,” he said, as per the statement.

About the steps taken by India after the adoption of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (SFDRR), the Minister said in November 2016 India hosted the 7th AMCDRR at New Delhi where Prime Minister Narendra Modi outlined a 10-point agenda to provide a practical roadmap for the implementation of SFDRR in India and the region.

He mentioned that within one year after the adoption of SFDRR, India launched its national disaster management Plan, fully aligned with the Sendai Framework.

Rijiju highlighted the urgent need to ensure that the new infrastructure to be created anywhere should be resilient to disaster.

He said India organised a featured event during AMCDRR 2016 and also hosted an International Workshop on Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (DRI) in January this year, in which more than 21 nations participated.

“India will also be co-chairing a featured event on DRI on July 5 during this conference. As our earnest endeavour, India will work along with other nations and stakeholders to build partnerships and collaborate in the domain of resilient infrastructure,” Rijiju said.

Rijiju shared the successful Indian experience in reducing the disaster mortality due to heat wave from over 2,000 in a year to less than 200.

He also shared important flagship DRR schemes such as school safety programme in areas falling in seismic zone IV and V; national cyclone risk mitigation project in coastal states to reduce vulnerability of coastal communities to cyclones and drawing on the experience.

The Minister also said, “India will soon be launching a comprehensive project on similar lines to address risks due to earthquakes.”

Rijiju reaffirmed India’s commitment and support towards implementation of SFDRR and Asia Regional Plan.

He promised to look for opportunities to collaborate with other countries, learn from their experiences and share what India has learnt on DRR.

Meanwhile, Rijiju held bilateral meetings on the sidelines of AMCDRR with Mongolia and Japan and also met representatives of civic societies from India who are attending AMCDRR.