To be prepared in case of any natural or manmade disaster in Maharashtra, the government has set up emergency operation systems at district and state levels, and has also decided to go for the hazard vulnerability risk assessment programme that can help in quick response.
The programme, which will be supported by the Geographic Information System (GIS) platform, will be implemented in three disaster-prone districts on pilot basis in the next few months.
“All information related to the topography, demography, population of an area, and its economic and social standing will be assessed under the programme. The GIS platform will help us access the information during an emergency,” said Suhas Diwase, director, disaster management unit.
It will be undertaken in Satara, Pune and Raigad, which have witnessed earthquakes, landslides, flooding and other natural calamities in the past few decades.
The state has decided to appoint an independent agency to complete the assessment in the next six to eight months. “A similar programme was implemented in 1993, but the situation has changed in the past two decades and we need to revisit the plan,” said an official from the disaster management unit.
The state government has been receiving flak for not setting up the emergency operation and coordination centres in the past two years. “This is because we don’t have companies with enough expertise on various fronts of disaster mitigation,” the official said.
The centres are expected to coordinate between the agencies involved during any emergency, such as terror strikes, floods, earthquakes, landslides, etc. The administration claims it did not get response despite inviting bids from global players.
Sources, however, pointed out that the government had not appointed companies of the State Disaster Response Force (SDRF), although the state Cabinet gave its approval last year.