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Disaster body cautions govt

india Updated: Apr 29, 2011 00:37 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
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The National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) has asked the Haryana government to carry out all construction projects as per its guidelines.

The state government should have its website where useful information related to disaster management must be uploaded for the general public, the NDMA joint secretary Amit Jha said at a workshop held at the Haryana Institute of Public Administration (HIPA) in Gurgaon on Wednesday.

It was only recently that the state government issued the first Draft Disaster Manage-ment Plan - 30 years after urbanisation started. Gurgaon has about 1,000 high-rise towers, the highest being 90-metre tall with 25 floors.

There are plans to build 180 metre-high residential towers at the new sectors earmarked in Master Plan 2021.

But the town and country planning department issued development licenses to private developers to build such structures without a disaster management plan for reference. The existing plan is in draft mode and yet to be finalised.

In order to reduce the after-effects of disaster, the state government should consider the guidelines of NDMA before starting a new project, he said and suggested the government should refer to the 27-point questionnaire prepared by the NDMA before sanctioning any construction.

"This will help in constructing a structure which would be disaster-resistant and would help in minimising the losses caused on occurring of a disaster," he said.

Jha also emphasised on developing a disaster management plan for every district which should be based on the geographical condition of that area.

New forum
The NDMA has also decided to set up a national disaster management forum at eight places in the country, where the relief material in the event of any disaster and complete information regarding steps to be taken while controlling its after effects will be available, he said.

The financial commissioner and principal secretary of the state revenue department, Naresh Gulati, who was also present at the workshop, urged the involvement of corporate houses as well as the general public in the disaster management plan.

The recent natural disaster in Japan has increased safety awareness among civic authorities everywhere. India is now trying to protect one of its important cities.

Fire force for action against slum clusters
The city's fire department wants action against persons who have set up illegal dwellings such as shanties and other kinds of crude shelters on vacant plots across Gurgaon.

The department will also explain the problem Huda and MCG. The district administration, too, may take action such persons. The fire department has been facing a tough time in dealing with frequent fire incidents at these areas.

On Monday, a fire alarm was raised in Chhatarpur area, where 60 jhuggis were built on a small 500 square yard plot. The plot owners used to charge R1000 per jhuggi from the occupants. There was no clear evacuation route for the occupants from the badly managed area. Two kids aged six and three died.

The fire then spread to the entire cluster and charred the area beyond recognition. Firefighters had a tough time controlling the situation due to the narrow lanes. There was also no space to park their vehicles and keep equipment. "The children must have found no place to escape," said a fire official.

"We have told the authorities concerned to remove such dwellings to prevent incidents like this. They should take action against plot owners who build unsafe clusters illegally," said a senior fire official.