The three day long ‘Exercise Jalrahat’ a National Level exercise for Flood Relief in an urban setting conducted in our own Guwahati , came to an end today with the final part ie the Summing Up session, the highlight of which other than the discussions on the happenings of the past two days was, the closing address delivered by Lt Gen D Anbu AVSM,SM,VSM General Officer Commanding Gajraj Corps.
The Corps Commander thanked and complimented all the participants, especially the Assam State Disaster Management Authority, all Service officers coming from out stations, functionaries of the State Government related to disaster management, officers of HQ Eastern Command, HQ Eastern Air Command, 101Area, 51 Sub Area, media fraternity and above all the CITIZENS OF GUWAHATI.
The General Officer said that he feels that the biggest take away from this exercise for all was ‘A Triple ‘R concept ie Alert, rescue, Relief and Rehabilitation and he very succinctly brought out the salient point of the exercise bringing forth major issues under the domains of Understanding the Risk, Inter Agency Coordination, Investing in Disaster Risk Reduction and Capacity Building.
The well meaning and informed discussions in the summing up session, which elicited contribution from all participants and stake holders based on their past experience and the activities of the past two days of the exercise, brought out extremely valuable lessons which will greatly assist the future planning for Disaster Risk Reduction, Capacity Building , Relief and Rehabilitation.
The list of lessons learnt is long, but the salient points are- Geo mapping of the catchment areas in Guwahati which cause inundation, Prevention of Deforestation and management of water bodies, Use of Modern technology and its easy availability within the contours of Guwahati City, Creation of a Disaster Mobile friendly Unified Portal reflecting all aspects of Disaster Management , Identification of Areas for helipads, Identification of Areas for Internally Displaced People Camps, Prioritization of Areas for Disaster Relief, Integrated response System for a synergized response, Dissemination of Early Warning, Enforcement of Law and Order, Looking upon the Media as an enabler for better response during a Disaster , Capacity Building of Communities and knowledge on preventive measures through awareness programmes, Incorporation of the vast Pool of NCC Cadets in the Disaster Management effort, Help Lines and Adhoc Robust Mobile Communications capable of withstanding the hazards inherent to such calamities, Capacity Building of Power and Health Department and ‘BBB” ie Build Back Better an important Concept originating from the vision of our Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi Ji duly incorporated in National Disaster Management Plan(NDMP) 2016 released by him on 01 June 2016.
No doubt the lessons drawn from the ‘Exercise Jalrahat’ will act as major building blocks for continuous refinement and fine tuning of the Flood Relief Plans, but most significantly the outstanding take away from the exercise was a reflection of confidence and respite in the eyes of the citizens of Guwahati who witnessed the events and a feeling that the State Apparatus is geared up to come to their assistance in a dynamic manner at their hour of need.