ITANAGAR- South West monsoon is yet to arrive in its fullest, but Arunachal Pradesh has already witnessed heavy rains triggering landslides and flash floods across the state. In order to take stock of the state’s preparedness to tackle the inevitable, Chief Minister Pema Khandu took a review meeting with the Disaster Management Authority here this morning.
The meeting was attended by Advisor, Disaster Management, Tanphaw Wangnaw, Chief Secretary Naresh Kumar and officials of the state Disaster Management department.
Briefing the Chief Minister, Secretary Disaster Management Dani Salu informed that personnel of the NDRF 12th Bn have been positioned at Bomdila for the west and at Tezu for the eastern parts of the state, while SDRF units have been positioned at the five Regional Response Centers at Dirang, Ziro, Pasighat, Tezu and Khonsa for quick response to any disaster situation.
“Our department is in constant touch with agencies like the CWC, IMD, Hydro Power, Water Resources, urban Development, Public Health Engineering, Science & Technology, etc for liaising, coordination and information sharing to put in place precautionary measures in advance,” he said.
Salu revealed that an extensive IEC campaign has been launched to create awareness while the department is conducting mock exercises on earthquake and other disasters including flood and fire.
Toll free numbers have also been installed and activated, which are 1070 for State Emergency Operation Centre (SEOC) and 1077 for District Emergency Operation Centres (DEOCs).
Further the department has trained volunteers on disaster management across the state, whose assistance may be obtained by the respective deputy commissioners in case of emergency.
“These volunteers are also trained to deal with the COVID19 situation, therefore their services can be an asset to the district administrations,” Salu added.
Chief Minister Pema Khandu advised the department to extensively train more volunteers across the state up to the village level.
Expressing concern on habitats in and around the state capital vulnerable to landslides and floods, Khandu suggested the Director (DM), Komkar Dulom to survey, map and notify all such vulnerable habitats and facilitate shifting of all such families to safer locations.
He also stressed on extensive IEC campaigns to create awareness amongst the people.
“Without thinking of any possible disaster, our people tend to build houses and reside in areas which are prone to landslides and floods during the monsoons. We need to aware them even if it may take time,” he said.
Khandu also expressed grave concern over rampant earth cutting in the state capital and called upon the department to coordinate with the district administration and put halt to such activities.
He also accepted the suggestion put forth by the department to put in place a real time monitoring system in the state for early warning signals of upcoming disasters to prevent loss of lives and other damages. He gave a go-ahead to the department to take help of reputed institutes for technologies which could detect soil movement and give out advance warning signals.
The Chief Minister also reviewed the status of preparedness in terms of medicines, essential commodities, manpower in the districts, fund position of the department, etc.
It was also agreed that a certain percent of the state disaster relief management fund will be used for mitigation purposes only.