Though the State Disaster Response Force (SDRF), which is being raised in state on the lines of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) might take another year to get fully operational, the state is fully-prepared to handle any flood situation arising during the current monsoon season, chief secretary R Parasuram has said.
The chief secretary, while talking to HT, mentioned that the SDRF would be operational in another year’s time.
The force would comprise of trained home guards and they would be posted as separate units in Bhopal, Indore, Jabalpur and Gwalior.
The units would rush to any area of the state where a disastrous situation, mainly flooding, occurs. Flood in the river basins is the only major natural disaster that the state is prone too.
However for this year, when the SDRF is yet not fully operational, the traditional disaster response system working under the respective district collectors would be handling the situation.
Trained home guards would help the district authorities and the paraphernalia including boat and other rescue material has been provided to the districts.
“The meetings of divisional commissioner and district collector-level officials has already been held in this regard and there is preparedness to ensure that no flash flood situation occurs,” the CS told HT.
Floodlike situation arises during August and September when due to continuous heavy rainfall, the major rivers fed by smaller rivers, overflow. However, controlled release of dam water and other measures could prevent flash floods.
For the future however, the SDRF is being raised as an executing agency that would become active on the ground during floods or other natural disasters.
The state government has already posted an additional director general- level police officer to head the disaster management unit of the home guards and this unit would be expanded in the form of a fullfledged SDRF inclusive of 550 trained officials and 150 supervisory officers.
The director general (home guards) Rishi Kumar Shukla told HT that talks are on with the NDRF and the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) for training of the home guards personnel who would be part of the SDRF.
“The training is likely to start by this year end and the force is likely to be operational in a year’s time,” the DG said.
He said already about 700 expertly trained home guards assist the district authorities in handling flood situations, but more technical inputs and better training would be provided to them.
State Disaster Management Agency (SDMA) has been set up and would be working as a coordinating agency whenever a disaster strikes.