A four-day workshop on the Incident Response System (IRS) has been organised for civil servants, police and other stakeholders for effective, efficient and comprehensive management of disasters in Meghalaya.
The programme was organised by the National Institute of Disaster Management (NIDM) in collaboration with the Meghalaya State Disaster Management Authority (MSDMA) and hosted by the Meghalaya Administrative Training Institute (MATI) with a vision to minimise loss of life and property by strengthening and standardising the disaster response mechanism.
The training saw the participation of representatives from district disaster management authorities, officers from state government departments, representatives from the Meghalaya Police and other stakeholders.
Secretary of the Revenue and Disaster Management Department and Executive Director of the State Disaster Management Authority, Matsiewdor War Nongbri said that though India has successfully managed disasters in the past but there are still a number of shortcomings that need to be addressed.
The response today has to be far more comprehensive, effective, swift and well planned based on a well conceived response mechanism, she told the attendees. The Disaster Management Act 2005 has brought a paradigm shift in disaster management, she added, because it has brought in pre-prevention, mitigation and preparedness methods of management.
Highlighting the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic, War Nongbri said that Meghalaya experienced a number of shortcomings such as a lack of accountability because of the ad hoc and emergent nature of arrangements with no prior training, lack of orderly and systematic planning process and an unclear chain of command and supervision of response activity.
There is thus an urgent need for a proper and well prepared response system and well thought pre-designated roles for each member of the response team, systematic and complete planning process and system of accountability and clear cut chain of command and effective resource management, a press release stated today.
Shekher Chaturvedi, Assistant Professor at the Division of Disaster Response and Recovery at NIDM, said that the training, designed with theoretical and practical exercises, will help to prepare and execute different tactical operations required in response to the disaster. Moreover, it will facilitate line departments and get their officers trained in their respective roles.
Highlighting the Meghalaya mega mock drill that will be conducted in October, Chaturvedi said that this training will give clarity on the roles and responsibilities needed for officers.
Assisting Chaturvedi as a resource person is Arun Verma of the Centre of Mass Congregation and Transport related Disasters at NIDM.