Paradigm shift from response to mitigation: Div Com
Srinagar : A webinar on International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction was jointly organised by National Institute of Disaster Management, Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India, New Delhi and Institution of Engineers (India), J&K State Centre, Srinagar, in collaboration with Divisional Administration, Kashmir, J&K Forest Department and Indian Red Cross Society, J&K Branch, Srinagar.
The webinar started with the address by Principal Chief Conservator of Forests, J&K Dr. Mohit Gera, IFS who talked about the loss of precious forest cover and biodiversity, due to forest fires, due to human intervention. He said that the Forest department is taking all necessary measures to prevent forest fires and has constituted teams for response, who are being provided training and basic equipments. He said that 190 fire control rooms have been established in Jammu Division and 100 in Kashmir.
Divisional Commissioner Kashmir, Pandurang K. Pole said that there has been paradigm shift from relief and response, to mitigation, early warning and risk reduction. He urged upon all Additional Deputy Commissioners, in their capacity as CEOs of the District Disaster Management Authority to take the lead role and benefit from such webinars,
President, Institution of Engineers (India) Er. Narendra Singh, FIE, informed that IEI which is the largest multidisciplinary organisation of engineers in India is celebrating its Centenary year, towards its service towards nation building. He mentioned that IEI has also established a disaster mitigation centre and focus is on how to reduce exposure to disaster risk.
Er. Arjimand Hussain an International Development Specialist and Founder Ziraat Times said that reduction in vulnerability to natural disasters saves lives, reduces poverty and also minimises economic and financial losses.
Pushpender Johari, Sr Vice President RMSI India Pvt Ltd. gave a detailed presentation about various studies being conducted by RMSI related to Multi Hazard Risk Assessment, probalistic Earthquake hazard models, risk assessments for Floods, River Morphology Study, Flash Floods, GLOF, Avalanche, Drought, Forest Fires.
Dr Amir Ali Khan, Faculty NIDM said that we are passing through difficult phase due to covid and it has a cascading impact in the event of any disaster, due to which life can be challenging. To overcome this there is need to create awareness amongst all the stakeholders particularly the society and local community, so that everyone is aware of their role, to make the society safe from impending disasters. He said that we have progressed in making societies disaster resilient. He spoke about the Sendai Framework for DRR, Sustainable Declaration of Goals, Paris Declaration Habitat 3 Agenda, Humanitarian Assistance and 10 point agenda of the Prime Minister.
Earlier, Er Aamir Ali Mir, Chairman IEI J&K State Centre Srinagar welcomed the participants. He said that there is need to increase understanding of disaster risk reduction measures so that communities can be safer. He said that the endeavor of the webinar was to try and establish a coordination and Institutional mechanism, between various agencies, dealing with emergencies, like the Revenue Department & Disaster Management Authorities and help them put in place proper disaster risk reduction strategies, in order to manage and reduce existing levels of risks and avoid creation of new risks.
Irfan Ali, IFS Conservator Forests HQ said that there is need to include Forest Fires as notified disasters, so that adequate budgetary allocations under State Disaster Mitigation Fund can be utilized for strengthening creation of a Unified Forest Fire Fighting Force, with manpower and latest fire-fighting equipments. He said that Village Forest Committees need to be trained and equipped so that they can act as the first responders in case of a forest fire. Miss Yogita Garbyal Young Professional from NIDM facilitated the webinar.
The webinar was attended by over 300 participants.