Centre asks states to take steps to provide relief during floods

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New Delhi, May 28 (UNI) The Centre today asked states to set up their own search and rescue teams and provide them specialised training as well as necessary equipment to tackle disasters, especially floods.

Inaugurating the annual Conference of Relief Commissioners/ Secretaries, Department of Disaster Management of States/UTs to review the status of preparedness for the South-West Monsoon, ' Secretary (Border Management) in the Ministry of Home Affairs Shantanu Consul said these teams could cater to the needs of not only the state concerned but also other states during crisis.

Mr Consul said the Central government had already constituted the National Disaster Response Force, consisting of eight battalions of Central Para-Military Forces for the purpose of specialist response to disaster situation. There are 144 specialist response teams comprising 45 personnel each.

He referred to the request of several states for the inclusion of calamities like frosts, cold wave and lightning into the list of notified natural calamities, entitled for assistance under the Calamity Relief Fund. He advised the states to take up the matter with the 13th Finance Commission which has already been constituted.

Mr Consul also released a Manual on Administration of Calamity Relief and National Calamity Contingency Funds.

Several Central Ministries/ Departments/ Organisations, which perform emergency support functions in the wake of natural calamities, were participating in the one-day Conference organised by the Home Ministry.

The is an annual feature, convened before the onset of the monsoon season primarily to review the status of preparedness of the states and UTs as well as Central Ministries and Departments to manage the situation caused by heavy rains and floods.

The Conference also discusses other important issues relating to overall strengthening of the disaster management system in the country, based on experience gained during recent years and latest technological developments.

UNI AJ HS KN1655

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