Saturday, October 25, 2008


HYDERABAD: The National Disaster Management Authority (NMDA) has finalised five cyclone risk mitigation projects worth Rs 1,600 crore along the coastal line of 13 States and Union Territories in the country.
‘‘Plans are also being carried out to launch an earthquake mitigation project worth Rs 560 crore in the country,’’ NMDA vice-president Gen. NC Vij announced at the inaugural session of the first World Congress on Disaster Management here today.
He also informed that they were planning to construct various reserves, each with a capacity of 4,000 people, across the country, which would accommodate people in the eventuality of a disaster.
Former President of India and chief guest on the occasion APJ Abdul Kalam inaugurated the congress while Chief Minister Y S Rajasekhara Reddy delivered the presidential address.
Speaking on the occasion, the Chief Minister said, ‘‘Disaster management should not be confined to natural calamities like Tsunamis and cyclones, but also address man-made disasters with utmost care.’’
CULTURE OF PREPAREDNESS: Stating that the State was vulnerable to disasters, he cautioned that one should be perennially prepared for disasters.
YSRAJASEKARA REDDY also stressed on the need for a culture of preparedness which citizens needed to acquire to save human and material loss at the time of a disaster.
APJ Abdul Kalam enunciated that the move to organise World Congress on Disaster Management was historic.
‘‘There is a grave need for networking of national and international disaster resource agencies and mapping the availabilities for effective disaster management,’’ he said while delivering his speech.
He also informed that research was being carried out on the grounds of earthquake forecasting and prediction of cyclones with validated mathematical models.
The former president shared his experiences in disaster management as a DRDO scientist at the time of the Latur earthquake in 1993. The DRDO delivered processed foods that were picked up for use during the Latur earthquake, Malpa and Chamoli landslides and Orissa cyclones, the former president said.
Gen. NC Vij said they were active all over India and planned to organise mock drills. In Andhra Pradesh, the NMDA is planning to conduct two mock drills within a year’s time.
DRDO scientist Prahlada, NMDA member JR Bharadwaj, retired AP High Court judge P Krishnam Raju and S Ananda Babu were present on the ocassion.