Maharashtra govt allots land for NDRF permanent station at Mahad
To ensure a speedier response during calamities such as floods in coastal areas of the state, the Maharashtra government has allocated a five-acre land parcel to set up a permanent base camp of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) at Mahad in Raigad district. This will help tackle disasters and emergencies like floods and cyclones that have been recurring on the Konkan coastline, causing loss of life and property. The rescuers are also trained to handle calamities like building and bridge collapses and chemical disasters.
At present, in case of any disasters in Konkan, rescuers have to be dispatched from the NDRF facility at Talegaon near Pune, or from the Thane Disaster Response Force (TDRF) which falls under the purview of the Thane Municipal Corporation (TMC). The distance between these facilities and the site of the tragedy leads to an increase in the response time.
After the devastation caused by the recent floods in Konkan, the state government is working on a brownfield expansion of the State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) by stationing these teams in State Reserve Police Force (SRPF) camps.
“We have allocated a two-hectare (five-acre) land parcel at Mahad for a permanent base camp of NDRF or SDRF. Currently, in case of a calamity, rescue teams have to come from either Pune or Thane which takes around 10 to 12 hours to reach the spot. This camp will ensure that these personnel will be able to respond to the crisis in the golden hour,’” said Aditi Tatkare, minister of state for industries and guardian minister of Raigad district. The land, which belonged to the dairy development department, was handed over for the purpose last week.
“Developing a NDRF or SDRF permanent base camp there will cut down the response time by around five to six hours. The location of this facility in Mahad will ensure that rescuers can reach many places in Raigad in around two hours,” she said.
Tatkare added that they had approached the Union government in November last year for a permanent base camp of NDRF in Raigad. However, if necessary, the state was also ready to station SDRF there for rescue operations. The camp will also function as a training centre for locals, who are usually the first responders in case of any calamities like the collapse of Tariq Gardens building in Mahad last year. These local volunteers will be trained once every six months.
The camp will also cover the northern part of Ratnagiri in talukas like Khed and Chiplun. The industrial belt in Mahad, Roha and Chiplun has a number of chemical industries, and NDRF or SDRF units stationed at Mahad can tackle any unforeseen emergencies in these areas.
Tatkare said they had also sent a proposal to the Employees State Insurance Corporation (ESIC) to start hospitals on Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC) lands at Taloja, Roha and Pen in Raigad.
NDRF has a battalion consisting around 1,149 people stationed at Sudumbare at Talegaon near Pune to cover Maharashtra and Goa.
It has stationed three teams consisting of 45 men each, including engineers, technicians, and medical staff, and two sniffer dogs at Andheri sports complex in Mumbai.
Modelled on the lines of NDRF, which is a specialised force to respond to natural and man-made disasters, SDRF has two companies at Nagpur and Dhule.