The disaster control room in Mantralaya, upgraded after the July 2005 deluge and awaiting a core team to man it ever since it was formed a decade ago, will finally get a dedicated team of seven senior officers.
The state Cabinet on Wednesday took the decision to appoint a permanent team of seven members after Hindustan Times, in its August 2 edition, reported that the emergency operations centre would function more efficiently if it had a dedicated staff.
The centre plays a crucial role in handling calamities and is currently working to manage the oil spill off the city’s coast.
The primary role of the control room, which is run by the state’s relief and rehabilitation department, is to act promptly in providing uniformity in approach and clarity on the various issues at hand to avoid complications.
It has to act as a coordinating agency, manage operations and resources, collect data, keep records and keep the public informed.
The 24x7 centre was working at a disadvantage as it had to rely on staffers from among 32 departments in Mantralaya who were deputed to it on a daily basis.
A dedicated team can ensure continuity of process and standardisation.
Chief Minister Ashok Chavan said in statement that the Union home ministry and the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation already had permanent teams at their disposal to handle disasters and that the state needed one such team.
“The permanent staff will maintain continuity and enhance efficiency,” Chavan said.
While seven senior officers will form the core team, the room will continue to get junior staff on rotation from the other departments in Mantralaya.
The dedicated team will include one deputy secretary, two under secretaries and four section officers, all of who will be trained in disaster management.
They will either be transferred from existing departments or will be hired.