Special force to deal with disasters in northeast India

December 14th, 2008 - 7:19 pm ICT by IANS  

Agartala, Dec 14 (IANS) Two battalions of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) would be deployed in the northeast in view of the threat of natural and man-made disasters in the region, officials said here Sunday. “Of the 10 NDRF battalions located at different locations of India based on the vulnerability profile to cut down the response time for their deployment, one battalion would be stationed in Assam and another in another state of the region,” said National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) vice-chairman General (Retd) Nirmal Chandra Vij.

In all, 1,158 troopers make one battalion of NDRF, constituted from the Border Security Force (BSF), Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) and Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), and each battalion provides 18 self-contained specialist search and rescue teams of 45 personnel each, including engineers, technicians, electricians, dog squads, medical and paramedics.

The Geological Survey of India (GSI) has notified that northeast India, which comes under seismic zone 5, could experience a devastating earthquake as the region is considered by seismologists to be the sixth worst quake-prone belt in the world.

The NDMA organised a two-day workshop in the Tripura capital Agartala Friday and Saturday on disaster risk reduction in the northeastern region.

Inaugurating the workshop, Tripura Chief Minister Manik Sarkar announced that the state government would include disaster management techniques in training courses and drill of the Tripura State Rifles (TSR) and state police forces.

Gen Vij told the workshop: “The NDMA, headed by the prime minister, has undertaken an ambitious project to provide adequate funds for rehabilitating old schools, hospital buildings besides important institutions to avoid a major tragedy considering that India’s more than 28.2 percent geographical areas, including entire northeastern region, in a high-risk seismic zone.”

“Of the 10 NDRF battalions, four battalions are to be equipped and trained in combating nuclear, biological and chemical disasters,” said Gen Vij.

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