iconimg Wednesday, September 02, 2015

Vaishnavi Vasudevan, Hindustan Times
Mumbai, July 22, 2013
Two teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) will finally be permanently stationed in the city to rush to spots during a disaster. The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has recently finalised two locations in eastern and western suburbs for the NDRF bases. In June, HT had reported that the NDRF teams have no space to operate in the city.

The teams are currently located in Talegaon near Pune, and because of this, it takes them more than five hours to reach the city during a disaster.

Currently, two teams temporarily are in Mumbai after BMC sought their help for rescue operation during monsoon (from June-Sept).

“The preparations to accommodate the teams have already started and the bases will be ready by October. The battalion will not be sent back to Talegaon after monsoon ends,” said Manisha Mhaiskar, additional municipal commissioner, BMC.

The two locations for the NDRF stations in Mumbai are at the fire brigade’s regional command centres at Mankhurd and Borivli.

“They have given their approval for Mankhurd. However, a few requirements still need to be met in Borivli,” said Mahesh Narvekar, chief officer, disaster management cell, BMC.

Officials have been delaying accommodating the teams for few years as they said it was difficult to find a vast area to set them up in the city.

During several disasters, NDRF teams have reached late because they are stationed at Talegaon. In June, when a building collapsed in Mahim, NDRF teams reached five hours after the incident.