Meghalaya's Civil Defence unprepared to meet natural disaster

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Shillong, Dec 4 (UNI) Despite frequent reports of major natural disasters in the state, the Meghalaya government is yet to tone-up the Civil Defence and Home Guards (CDHG), even as the High Powered Committee had asked the state government to raise two companies of disaster management.

The state's CDHG, the nodal agency for disaster management, admitted that at present the department is not in a position to tackle any eventuality arising out of any natural disaster due to the shortage of manpower and modern equipment.

''Shortage in equipment and lack of infrastructure apart from manpower has affected the nodal agency to prepare for disaster management,'' CDHG Director William Richmond Marbaniang told newspersons on the eve of 31st raising day of CDHG.

Stating that shortage of manpower was a ''major predicament,'' Mr Marbaniang said the present strength of his force was only 2532 personnel across the state. He, however, said the department has been able to train almost 2500 in the art of rescuing people in the event of any natural calamity.

''We do not even have a well managed control room, not even vehicles to ferry our personnel to the disaster spots,'' Mr Marbaniang said.

However, he said, a detailed proposal has been sent to the Centre to revamp the department. ''We have sent our suggestions three weeks back and we hope to get favourable feedback from the Centre,'' he said.

UNI

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