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City administration lax on disaster management plan

In a city dotted with highrises and an ammunition depot in the vicinity, preparedness for a disaster is crucial. However, it seems, the Gurgaon administration has not taken the matter seriously.

india Updated: Feb 17, 2012 00:55 IST
Divya Sethi

In a city dotted with highrises and an ammunition depot in the vicinity, preparedness for a disaster is crucial. However, it seems, the Gurgaon administration has not taken the matter seriously.

As the national Capital geared up for a mega mock drill on Wednesday, laxity on part of the district administration is a cause for concern. Though the ball was set rolling for a disaster management plan early last year, the city is still not ready with the required equipment or adequate manpower. Moreover, government departments don't even have a clear idea what their roles will be in the aftermath of any natural disaster or crisis.

A mock drill organised in Gurgaon on January 26, 2011, was a total failure and it was also criticised by the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA). But, authorities have not been able to do much.

Talking about it, Deputy Commissioner PC Meena said, "We organise mock drill sessions regularly. We don't need to follow the footprints of the Delhi administration as we have our own system of working and implanting things."

On January 13 this year, Meena had set a 15-day deadline for the Haryana Urban Development Authority (Huda) and the Municipal Corporation of Gurgaon (MCG) to submit their inputs regarding the disaster management plan. Now, when the administration claims to have received the required inputs, no plans of organising a drill, where all departments could be trained, seem to be underway.

"Disaster management has been confined to plans. Preparing a plan would not work unless various departments understand their roles and responsibilities. Further, mock drills are equally important to ensure smooth coordination. We are lagging in a big way," said Dr Abhay Srivastava, a disaster management expert.