Patil calls for sharing disaster management information

June 14th, 2008 - 9:34 pm ICT by IANS  

A file-photo of Shivraj Patil

Bangalore, June 14 (IANS) A three-day international conference on disaster management began here Saturday with a call by Indian Home minister Shivraj Patil to share information on managing disasters as that would help in preparedness to tackle them and lessen the impact. Over 500 Indian delegates from the departments of police, fire, civil defence and private companies are attending the conference where experts from the US, Singapore and United Nations agencies will present papers on various aspects of dealing with disasters.

Patil told the meet that India’s disaster management laws will be amended to expand the scope and jurisdiction of civil defence and home guards.

The conference has been organised by the New Delhi-based National Disaster Management Authority and the Karnataka directorate of home guards, civil defence, fire and emergency services.

Former Indian Army chief V.P. Malik told the meet that 22 states in India are vulnerable to natural disasters. Nearly 70 percent of the country was prone to seismic fluctuations while floods affect 30 million people every year.

As part of the meet, Indian and foreign organisations and firms are exhibiting latest communication tools, equipment that help search and rescue operations, protective gears for smoke, radiation, hazardous gases, infra-red cameras to locate people caught in debris, and inflatable floating aids.

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