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Thane to get own force to tackle rain disasters

TMC will no longer have to rely on National Disaster Response Force during emergencies

mumbai Updated: May 18, 2018 00:48 IST
Megha Pol
Megha Pol
Hindustan Times
Thane,NDRF,Pokharan Road
The NDRF building at Majiwada will be equipped with wireless service, control room and have dedicated hotline services. (Praful Gangurde/ Hindustan Times)

The city will soon get its own disaster response force to tackle major disasters during monsoon.

The Thane municipal commissioner has approved formation of Thane Disaster Response Force (TDRF) on lines of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF). The Thane Municipal Corporation will no longer have to depend on the NDRF team in case of major disaster.

The TDRF will be stationed in Thane throughout the year, reducing the response time for rescue work.

A team of 50 jawans will be formed next week and they will be given the same equipment and communication system which the NDRF team uses.

In 2013, 74 people were killed in a building collapse at Lucky Compound in Mumbra and the NDRF team had to be called for rescue work. The team took more than three hours to reach Thane from Mumbai.

Two more buildings collapsed the same year and several were killed. Apart from Thane, Bhiwandi and Thakurli also witnessed building collapses. The NDRF team had to travel from Andheri, thus losing time.

The spate of disasters highlighted the demand for a team to be stationed in Thane to cut the response time.

In December last year, municipal commissioner Sanjeev Jaiswal came up with idea of setting up a dedicated team for the city.

Sandeep Malvi, deputy municipal commissioner, said, “A team of 50 jawans will be hired from state fire training college in Kalina by next week. We have begun the process of selecting the uniforms and equipment for the team. The civic commissioner approved the proposal for the team on Thursday. The first parade of the team will be held on May 28. The training will begin from next week.”

Read more: NDRF trains over 55 lakh people to prepare for man-made or natural emergencies

The local disaster management teams are incapable of dealing with major disasters in Thane due to lack of manpower or advanced equipment.

Malvi said, “The Thane Disaster Response Force will deal with major disasters which cannot be tackled by the local fire and disaster management team. Thane is the first corporation to get its own disaster rescue team. Mumbai has a City Disaster Response Force (CDRF) team.”

“However, it has trained its own security force and has not hired dedicated staff for it. We will hire retired service official from army, navy or fire to train the jawans. The officer will be someone who has worked on short commission as we do not want old officers.”

After completing training, the team will be deployed across the city during monsoon.

A three-member committee comprising deputy commissioner (disaster management), chief fire officer and information and public relations officer was formed in December last year. The committee was to study and submit a draft report on forming TDRF, manpower and machinery required to set up the cell.

Malvi said, “The team of 50 jawans will get accommodation at a three-storey building owned by TMC along Pokharan Road number 2 where an NDRF team was given accommodation last year.”

There are five flats on each floor of the building.

The two flats on the ground floor will be converted into a kitchen and dining area. The remaining two halls will be converted into lounge areas. The building will also be equipped with wireless service, control room and have dedicated hotline services.

“Thane can then independently tackle disasters in the city. We can save many lives after forming the new team,” he added.

First Published: May 18, 2018 00:48 IST