Union Home Secretary inaugurates Annual Conference of Relief Commissioners/Secretaries of Disaster Management of States/UTs

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The Union Home Secretary Shri Rajiv Mehrishi inaugurated the Annual Conference of Relief Commissioners/Secretaries of the Department of Disaster Management of States/UTs here today. The status of preparedness for South West Monsoon, 2016 is being reviewed with the participating central agencies and states and UTs. Shri Mehrishi said that the disasters or adversities are increasing in number and intensity in the country ranging from earthquakes, draughts, floods, forest fires among others and there is a need for better preparedness and putting comprehensive improved risk reduction/mitigation measures in place.
The Union Home Secretary informed the participants that during the last financial year (2015-16), 21 states and one UT reported damages caused by floods, landslides, cloud bursts and other disasters. These disasters took a toll of about 1543 precious human lives, damaged about 16.54 lakhs houses and huts besides affecting crops over an area of 33.57 lakh hectares.
Shri Mehrishi said that the Ministry of Home Affairs and the agencies such as National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and National Institute of Disaster Management (NIDM) are sharing the long term measures and training with the states for necessary preparedness. He said that the participants should share their experiences in today’s conference and ensure that an early warning system and better preparedness is put in place.
The Home Secretary mentioned that the agencies such as India Metrological Department, Indian Space Research Organization, Snow and Avalanche Study Establishment (SASE), Central Water Commission, Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services, Geological Survey of India, Ministry of Defence and National Disaster Response Force are making presentations in today’s conference to share their efforts towards preparedness of dealing with disaster situations.
Earlier Shri B.K. Prasad, Additional Secretary highlighted the issues relating to disaster management in his welcome address. He mentioned that the assistance to states through National Disaster Response Fund/State Disaster Response Fund is being regularly extended by the Government and during the last financial year an amount of Rs. 8756 crore was released to different states from the SDRF in addition to release of Rs. 12452 crore from NDRF to the states severely affected by natural disasters.

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