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HP strengthens disaster management framework

Himachal Pradesh is finalising a multi-pronged plan to step up preparedness against natural disasters.

india Updated: Dec 18, 2006 08:17 IST

Himachal Pradesh is finalising a multi-pronged plan to step up preparedness against natural disasters. Being a mountainous state with Himalayan ranges, the topography and climatic conditions make it particularly prone to avalanches, floods, cloudbursts and flash floods. It has also been an epicentre of several quakes.

The state is working on a disaster management framework for prevention measures, a legal and policy framework, quick response, human resource development, an early warning system and capacity building, according to official sources.

For starters, the Himachal government has re-designated the department of relief and rehabilitation as a disaster management department.

The measures, at state and district levels, will include mitigation steps and short-term emergency responses. Temporary shelter, basic living prerequisites, food and water, medical aid, lighting and power, communications, logistic requirements for delivery of relief are other areas under scrutiny.

Control rooms have been set up in all districts with toll-free numbers. Training institutes are functioning to their optimum capacity, keeping in view the need for human resource development and capacity building.

The National Disaster Management Act 2005, already notified by the central government, is in the process of being adopted by the state but with modifications.

The National Disaster Management Authority, established in December 2005, is considering creating a National Disaster Mitigation Resources Centre to ensure ready availability of relief stocks to bridge the gap between disaster occurrence and aid.