Miss­ing dis­as­ter re­sponse teams have left many states vul­ner­a­ble

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - HT Navi Mumbai Live - - FRONT PAGE - Prasad Nichenametla prasad.n@hin­dus­tan­times.com

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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