The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) is mulling on setting up the city’s own disaster response force, days after two deadly building collapsed in Bhiwandi near Mumbai.
The civic body is looking at setting-up a City Response Disaster Force (CDRF) on the lines of the country’s National Disaster Response Force (NDRF).
Though the city already has 3 teams of 45 NDRF officials in Andheri, senior civic officials said these teams cater to the entire Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) and emphasised on the strong need for a city-based team.
Officials said that the team will comprise 500 officials, who will be trained intensively in flood-rescue, building collapse, landslide and other rescue operations.
An annual pre-monsoon building survey by the BMC in May revealed that there are 740 buildings in the city that are in an extremely dangerous condition (C-1 buildings). The number has gone up significantly from 542 in 2015.
According to data compiled by the disaster management cell, there are 146 buildings in the island city, 286 in the eastern suburbs and 308 in the western suburbs that are on the verge of collapse.
IA Kundan, additional municipal commissioner and in-charge of the disaster management unit in BMC, said, “We feel that the city needs to become self-sufficient in terms of disaster response. Though we have NDRF stations here, they are required to rush to any disaster in MMR, Pune and nearby cities. What will we do if there are two disasters at the same time? We cannot take such a huge risk.”
Kundan also said that the BMC was looking at NDRF to train people who will be appointed by the BMC. The entire process of setting up the team is likely to take around six months. “We already have an able disaster response unit. We will recruit most people for CDRF from the same unit,” Kundan added.
EIGHT people were killed and 23 injured after a three-storey building collapsed in the Shantinagar area of Bhiwandi on July 31, 2016
EIGHT people died after another old building collapsed in the Shastrinagar locality of Bhiwandi early in August, 2016
SIX people died and two others suffered injuries after a three-storey building collapsed on R S Nimkar Marg in Kamathipura in April, 2016
TWELVE people died after a building close to the Thane railway station collapsed like a pancake in August 2015