Manipal, Oct 15: Union Ministry of Home Affairs Fire Advisor B K Shami today said that the change in focus in the XI Plan will ensure programmes and projects to ensure safety during disaster and implementation of development projects.
He said that "the Eleventh Plan's shift in focus from response-centric disaster management to disaster mitigation brings with it an obligation to give impetus to projects and programmes that develop and nurture both the culture of disaster safety and integration of disaster prevention and mitigation into the development process." Delivering key note address at the International Day for Natural Disaster Reduction at Manipal Institute of Technology (MIT), Mr Shami said that under the new initiative taken during the 10th Plan treating disaster management as a development issue, an 8 battalion strong National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) comprising 144 specialised response teams on various types of disasters was being set up by the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA).
Mr Shami said that the disaster management today required multi-disciplinary and pro-active approach. The Union and state governments, the community, civil society organisations and media have a key role to play in achieving the goal of safe India. While hazards, both natural and manmade were inevitable, their efforts could be minimised by preparation with a multi-pronged strategy for total risk management, comprising prevention, preparedness, response and recovery on the one hand and for initiating development efforts aimed towards risk reduction and mitigation on the other hand, he added.
Mr Shami said the Civil Defense set up in the country was being revamped and further strengthened to supplement the local efforts for disaster response and relief and the Fire Services were being modernised to convert them into multi hazard response units. He said a National Institute of Disaster Management had been set up for training, capacity building, research and documentation on various natural and manmade disasters.
Mr Shami said that two national programmes to train 10,000 Engineers and 10,000 Architects on safe construction architectural practices were under implementation. A community based disaster risk management programme was under implementation with UNDP assistance in 169 multi hazard districts in 17 States and Union Territories.
He said that the National Building Code had also been revised taking into consideration the natural hazards and risks of various regions in the country while, the Bureau of Indian Standard had issued new building codes for construction of different types of buildings in different Seismic zones in the country, he added.