Reported by Chinmaya Dehury
Bhubaneswar, Jan 19:
Odisha will get Central assistance of Rs 915 crores towards post-Phailin reconstruction work in Odisha, Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde revealed here on Sunday.
“The decision was taken by a high power committee of the National Disaster Mitigation Authority (NDMA) under Union Home Ministry, three days back,” Shinde said while addressing the 9th Raising Day ceremony of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) at its 3rd Battalion at Mundali near Cuttack. He said the Centre had accepted the recommendations of committee that had assessed the widespread damage during Phailin and post cyclone flood in the state.
Praising the relief and rescue operation work undertaken by NDRF during Cyclone Phailin, the Union Home Minister said a country like Japan, which fought hard to come out of the Tsunami and Fukushima nuclear plant disaster, had praised the evacuation work in Odisha, the largest ever undertaken in India.
Describing the NDRF and state Disaster Rapid Action Force (ODRAF) as a unique combination of Civil Defence Force, Shinde said better coordination between the Centre and the state administration and machineries had saved hundreds of lives in Odisha and elsewhere.
“The National Disaster Mitigation Authority (NDMA) is taking steps to upgrade the technica skills of NDRF to face the challenges of chemical, biological and nuclear disasters that may happen in future in the country and outside,” said the Minister.
The Home Minister said the number of NDRF Battalions would soon be raised to 12 with the addition of one battalion in Uttarakhand and another in the North East region.
“Many more companies of NDRF will also be set up in other parts of the country to face the challenges of disasters,” said Shinde. He assured Krishna Chaudhury, DG, NDRF to institute a National Award for Disaster Mitigation in order to raise the morale of civil defence forces in the country.
Responding to a request from NDRF DG, the Home Minister said his Ministry would provide more funds for additional capacity building of NDRF as and when such proposals are submitted to him.
Speaking on the occasion, Chief minister Naveen Patnaik commended the role of the NDRF in rescue and relief operations during cyclone Phailin as ‘outstanding’. The Odisha government expected the NDRF to play a significant role in capacity building of ODRAF, he said
The cooperation between the state and central rescuing agencies was lauded both nationally and internationally, Patnaik said. He urged the Union Home Minister to enhance the technical capability of NDRF by more capacity building.
National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) Vice chairman M Sashidhar Reddy, state ministers and other top officials of both central and state security agencies were present during the occasion.