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NDMA conducts unique state level mock exercise on forest fire in Uttarakhand

The National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) has recently carried out first-of-its-kind State-level mock exercise on forest fire. The main objective of the mock exercise is to assess the efficacy of preparedness and response mechanisms available with the forest department and the district administration.

The exercise was conducted by NDMA in collaboration with the State Government. The exercise was conducted across all 13 districts covering different types of forests. Various agencies, such as fire, forest, Army, health, police, National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) and civil defence took part in the drill.

Mock exercise on forest fire in Uttarakhand is significant as nearly 70% of the State’s geographical area comes under forests and incidents of forest fires are frequent.

NDMA so far has carried out more than 550 mock exercises across the country to improve preparedness and response mechanisms for various disaster situations.

Forest fires in Uttarakhand

Uttarakhand is known for human-induced forest fires since a long time. In 2016, the pine forests of Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh caught fire. Most of the fires in Uttarakhand happen in the Chir pine (Pinus Rroxburghii) forests because leaves of this conifer tree catch fire easily. The forest fires in Uttarakhand have been predominantly intentional for the purpose of collection of forest resources such as resin, sal seeds, honey, timber etc. To collect resin easily, the surface fires are lit so that pine needles can be removed.

NDMA

The National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), headed by the Prime Minister of India, is the apex Body for Disaster Management in India. It is responsible for laying down the policies, plans and guidelines for Disaster Management to ensure timely and effective response to disasters.

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RK Pachnanda appointed as DG of National Disaster Response Force

Senior IPS officer R. K. Pachnanda was appointed as Director General of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF).

He is a 1983 batch Indian Police Service (IPS) officer from West Bengal cadre. Prior to this appointment he was serving as ADG of Central Industrial Security Force (CISF).

About National Disaster Response Force (NDRF)

  • NDRF is India’s elite disaster mitigation combat force established under The Disaster Management Act, 2005.
  • It was established in 2006 and is headquartered in New Delhi. It functions under the aegis of Union Ministry of Home Affairs.
  • It main function is to undertake relief and rescue operations in the case of an event of any disaster (natural or man-made), accident or emergency.
  • It is assisted by 11 battalions positioned in various states of country. Of the 11 battalions, 3 are of BSF and CRPF each, 2 are of CISF, ITBP each and one of Sashastra Seema Bal.

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NDRF ties up with 30 PSUs to jointly tackle emergencies

National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) has partnered with about 30 Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs) to jointly tackle and mitigate man-made or natural disasters or emergencies.

In this regard, a coordination meeting was held between NDRF and prominent PSUs like ONGC, Air India, GAIL and others involved in the mining and shipping and heavy industries sector.

The maiden meeting was attended by over 40 senior officials from these PSUs for enhancing each other others capabilities for disasters or emergencies.

Key facts

  • The first of its kind initiative aimed to ensure efforts for building a good synergy between the government organisations.
  • It will also ensure that two sides can act as one strong unit in case of any king emergency or disasters in case of small or mid-level exigencies.
  • NDRF has proposed to train personnel of these PSUs by extending its skill modules like on tackling nuclear, biological and chemical disasters.

About National Disaster Response Force

  • NDRF is India’s elite disaster mitigation combat force established under The Disaster Management Act, 2005.
  • Established: 2006.
  • Headquarters: New Delhi.
  • Function: To undertake relief and rescue operations in the case of an event of any disaster (natural or man-made), accident or emergency.
  • Functions under the aegis of Union Ministry of Home Affairs.
  • The force is assisted by 11 battalions positioned in various states of the country. Of the 11 battalions, 3 are of BSF and CRPF each, 2 are of CISF, ITBP each and one of Sashastra Seema Bal.
  • Incumbent Director-General of NDRF is Om Prakash Singh.

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