Principal Secretary, Revenue and Disaster Management Shri Onkar Chand Sharma said that fourth Mega Mock Earthquake exercise would be conducted on 8th February, 2018 and all the 12 districts would participate. He said that Himachal Pradesh was highly vulnerable to earthquake as it comes under zone IV and V which is highly sensitive.Shri Sharma while presiding over Orientation and Coordination Conference and Sensitization programme on Incident Response System (IRS) here today, said that the objective of this exercise is to generate awareness amongst all stakeholders, evaluate response mechanism and to find out strength and gaps in preparedness and mitigation. The conference was attended by senior officers of Army, NDRF, ITBP, SSB, Police, Deputy Commissioners and Head of line departments.Shri Onkar Sharma said that Table Top Exercise would be done on 7th February, 2018 at 11 AM onwards in which all Deputy Commissioners will attend the exercise through Video Conference while the State level Officers will be present at State Secretariat. He stressed the need of involvement of community as local people are the first responders in such circumstances as it takes time to the district and State authorities including National level teams to reach the incident place. He said that Disaster Management training should be incorporated in every training schedule of HIPA and other departmental trainings.He said that earlier such mock exercise was done in November, 2016 in which seven most vulnerable districts i.e. Shimla, Kangra, Mandi, Chamba, Solan, Kinnaur and Kullu participated but this time all districts would be covered. He said that this mock exercise would help in enhance strategies, level of preparedness and risk resilience.
He said that this exercise would accomplish desired aims and objectives and generate constructive and collective inputs as the whole exercise would be carried out under the observation of NDMA experts.Special Secretary, Revenue and Disaster Management Shri D.C. Rana while detailing overview of earthquake scenario and mock exercise said that this exercise would be done in minimum five places in each district and various places such as residential, non-residential, hospitals, educational institutes and shopping complexes would be taken as effective areas for carrying out rescue, relief and mitigation work.Shri Rana said that earthquake scenario would be as per IIT Mumbai, IIT Madras and NDMA systematic study in which it was presumed that an earthquake of 8 magnitude on Richter Scale occurred at 12 at night in Himachal Pradesh with epicenter between Sundernagar and Mandi and not only whole of State but neighboring States were affected.Member NDMA Lt Gen (Retd) Shri N.C. Marwah said that Himachal has done remarkable work in Disaster Management and one of the best State in the Country in preparedness which has incorporated IRS in State Disaster Management Plan which is very comprehensive and allied to National Disaster Management Plan. He said that Mock Exercise would help in capacity building of local people and effective coordination between various agencies. He said that Himachal has decided to raise its State Disaster Response Force and NDMA will provide all necessary assistance and specialized training for it. He said that as Himachal is a Hilly State and landslides were quite frequent and NDMA had assigned IIT Mandi to undertake a pilot project for it.Senior Specialist NDMA Major Gen (Retd) Dr. V.K. Naik gave a detail presentation on Sensitization Programme on Incident Response System (IRS).