Punjab has demanded the setting up of a permanent national disaster management centre at Ludhiana, keeping in view that the north zone of the country falls in the dangerous seismic zone.
Presiding over a meeting of the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) with representatives of Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and UT Chandigarh, Punjab governor Shivraj Patil said all states must start campaigns to make people aware about the steps to be taken in case of an earthquake.
Speaking on behalf of chief minister Parkash Singh Badal, financial commissioner (revenue) NS Kang said the NDMA should set up the permanent national disaster management centre. He said the Punjab government had already provided 50 acres at Ludhiana to set up the centre and 39 young professionals had also been recruited for the purpose.
He said keeping in view directions of the NDMA, the state government had also prepared a state disaster management plan and appointed nodal officers in all departments for better coordination in any kind of disaster. The government has also identified 202 'harmless' buildings across the state, which would be used as shelters in any critical situation. He said a survey regarding important highways, hospitals, power centres, etc. had also been completed.
Kang said the state government had also taken the lead in setting up a state disaster response force drawn up from the personnel of the Punjab Armed Police. A team of 50 persons has been trained by the NDMA, and 450 more personnel of the PAP would also be trained by the authority.