In the wake of recent disaster following rain and landslides in the state, MP Pratibha Singh has urged the Centre to set up India Reserve Battalion (IRB) and National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) units in the state.
She met union minister of state for home RPN Singh on Tuesday and requested him to provide necessary support to the state government.
She demanded for setting up of NDRF units in Shimla, Kangra, Mandi, Chamba, Lahaul and Spiti and Sirmaur districts of the state to strengthen the state government in capacity building and provide holistic, coordinated and prompt response to all disaster emergencies keeping in view the geographical locations of the state.
She also demanded financial assistance for raising one battalion of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) for immediate response to devastation caused by natural calamities and other crisis and offered land and other necessary administrative support for setting up the NDRF unit in the state.
She revealed, “The state falls in seismic zone 5 and is highly disaster prone and natural calamities such as cloudburst, flashfloods, landslides, forest fires and avalanches were common throughout the state.”
Pratibha requested the union minister to provide latest equipment, machinery and training to the Himachal Police to meet these challenges, as the police were the key agency to perform disaster management duties.
She urged the home ministry to provide training to the state police personnel in different types of rescue techniques, climbing on rock surfaces, tying various types of knots and hitches in different situations, flood relief and rescue management and also requested for providing latest mountaineering tools, equipment, accessories training facilities of mountain search and rescue at Mountaineering Institute of Manali.
Pratibha urged for technical, financial and logistic assistance to promote alternative crops in mid-Himalayan terrains of the state to wean away the farmers from cannabis and opium cultivation.
She also demanded to provide modern equipment and training to the state police to address the problem of drug trafficking in the state and requested for providing unmanned aerial vehicles to conduct aerial surveillance of high mountain areas where cannabis and opium cultivation was done to permanently address drug trafficking problem in the state.