India has been moving towards a holistic disaster mitigation and management plan, Minister of State for Home Affairs Haribhai P. Chaudhary said Thursday, adding the country is able to minimise the loss of lives due to better weather forecasts.The minister said it was the primary duty of the state to save lives whenever a natural calamity strikes."India is moving towards a holistic disaster mitigation and management action plan," Chaudhary said, while inaugurating a two-day meeting on 'Innovations in Technologies for Disaster Rescue Efforts amongst Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) countries'. He stressed the need of international cooperation in tackling disasters."Natural calamities often strike with such ferocity that they might erode the years of painstaking development efforts in one sweep," he said.
"India has been able to minimise loss of human lives during disasters due to precise weather forecasting by the India Meteorological Department," he said.Chaudhary also inaugurated the Virtual Knowledge Portal, a web-based tool to share knowledge and practices related to natural disaster risk mitigation.Sneh Lata Kumar, secretary (border management), ministry of home affairs, said the Asia-Pacific region records 75 percent of the disasters, resulting in two-thirds of the casualties recorded worldwide.
She called for devising an effective risk finance and insurance mechanism, especially for the poor in the wake of natural hazards such as earthquakes.The meeting is being attended by the representatives of ASEM and East Asia Summit countries. Delegates from several international organisations such UN-SPIDER (UN Platform for Space-based Information for Disaster Management and Emergency Response) and Unicef are taking part in the deliberations.A meeting of the 24x7 Point of Contact of the East Asia Summit (EAS) countries will also be held during the two-day event.