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U'khand deluge unfortunate, great learning experience: NDMA

July 08, 2013 17:19 IST

The National Disaster Management Authority on Monday asked states to be more proactive on disaster management and appoint full-time chiefs for disaster management authorities.

"The states have to become more proactive. The responsibility to respond to any disaster is with them. I know many states which are not aware of what funds are available with them for natural disaster. We need to really educate the states," said NDMA's Vice Chairman M Shashidhar Reddy.

He said the states have been asked to appoint full time chiefs of disaster management authorities in their jurisdictions.

The chief minister in a state is head of the State Disaster Management Authority, the  revenue minister is vice chairman and other ministers are members.

"Some states have appointed chief executive officers for SDMAs whereas Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh have agreed to appoint full-time chiefs," Reddy said.

"In light of the Uttarakhand tragedy, I want to drive home this point for all the chief ministers (that) the disaster management architecture of any state needs to be geared up. This will be a great learning from the Uttarakhand catastrophe," he said.

"It is a very unfortunate incident. The whole nation feels about it. But the people who manage disasters convert this into an opportunity to prepare to deal with disasters in a better way,” he said.

"There will definitely be lessons to be learned. This is the process which will take some time to fully understand the magnitude and the manner in which the whole thing evolved and happened," the vice chairman said when asked what lessons have been learnt from the disaster in Uttarakhand.

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