The State Government would establish three Companies under the State Disaster Response Force, on analogy of National Disaster Response Force to generate a prompt and efficient response at the time of disasters. This was stated by the Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur while addressing the gathering on the occasion of Flagging off Citizen Solidarity March and Launch of four Schemes of Himachal Pradesh State Disaster Management Authority at Oak over today on the occasion of International Day for Disaster Reduction.The Chief Minister also launched four schemes of the HP State Disaster Management Authority on the occasion. These Schemes for creation of Task Force of Youth Volunteers for Disaster Preparedness and Response, Scheme for Hospital Safety, Scheme for Structural Safety Audit of Lifeline Buildings and Scheme for Training of Masons, Carpenters and Bar Binders on Hazard Resistant Construction.Jai Ram Thakur said that Himachal Pradesh was one of the most multi hazard prone States of the Country. He said that the State faces various hazards like geological hazards, earthquakes and landslides, hydrological hazards such as floods, flash floods and glacial outbursts, besides meteorological hazards, lime hailstorms, droughts and cloudbursts. Thus it was essential that each and every citizen of the State was well prepared to meet out any eventuality at the time of disaster, he added.
He said that the State Government would create a task force of youth volunteers for disaster preparedness and response. He said that in each 3226 panchayats of the State, at least 10 to 20 youth volunteers would be trained for disaster mitigation. He said that this would ensure immediate and quick response at the time of any natural disaster. He said that it was also vital to create public awareness and preparedness in order to ensure the loss to life and property during the disaster. The Chief Minister said that the Second Scheme that is for Hospital Safety was aimed at providing safe hospital since they were critical infrastructure and play a vital role in any post disaster scenario and have to remain fully functional after a catastrophic event. He said that the Scheme for Structural Safety Audit of Lifeline Buildings was also crucial as it aims at providing earth quake resistance structures in the State. He said that Scheme for training of Masons, Carpenters and Bar Binders on Hazard Resistant Construction was also aimed at imparting training to the construction workers.Chief Minister said that on the request of the State Government the Union Government has sanctioned a Battalion of NDRF for the State keeping in view the disaster prone topography of the State.
He said that during the recent torrential rains and untimely snow in Lahaul Spiti, thousands of local people and tourists got stranded on and beyond Rohtang. He said that it was due to the effective coordination between the State and Centre Government that all were safely rescued and removed to safer places. He said that the Union Government provided seven choppers to airlift all these stranded and the Government succeeded to airlift 252 people besides 2509 people were rescued through the Rohtang tunnel.Jai Ram Thakur said that for better coordination at the time of any natural disaster, the State Government was also contemplating to establish Emergency Operation Centre at one place in the State. He said that special thrust must be laid on spreading awareness amongst all the stakeholders.The Chief Minister apart from releasing the booklets brought out by the HP State Disaster Management Authority also released a book "Disaster Management and Administrative Preparedness" written by K.R. Saizal.Industries Minister Bikram Singh, Mayor Municipal Corporation Shimla Kusum Sadrate, Chairman Milkfed Nihal Chand Sharma, Additional Chief Secretary Revenue and PWD Manisha Nanda, Additional Principal Secretary to Chief Minister Sanjay Kundu, Deputy Commissioner Shimla Amit Kashyap, Special Secretary D.C. Rana, SP Omapati Jamwal were present of the occasion among others.