Missing disaster response teams have left many states vulnerable
HYDERABAD: When vast swathes of Tamil Nadu including capital Chennai was battered by unprecedented floods last week, the first challenge for the authorities was to find enough trained personnel for rescue and relief operations. And this despite the fact that Tamil Nadu has its own State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) to tackle such situations.
Around the same time, neighbouring Andhra Pradesh — also hit by floods along its coastal areas — had to urgently seek out the National Disaster Response Force ( NDRF) for rescue and relief as the state is yet to set up its own SDRF.
Despite the NDMA’s (National Disaster Management Authority) urgent calls to all states to set up their own DRFs, most are yet to do so which, experts say, is a recipe for disaster in a country prone to natural calamities.
“Every state should have its specialised rescue force at their disposal. As disasters happen without any war ning, it is important to have these local response teams,” says Marri Sasidhar Reddy, former vicechairman of the NDMA.
Official sources said Himachal Pradesh, Jharkhand, Goa, Chhattisgarh, Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana are yet to form their SDRFs.
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