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Call for every citizen to be aware of disaster management

Special Correspondent

Know what to do and how to take remedial measures, says Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil


‘Every city, town, village should take steps to strengthen their disaster management systems’

Union Minister says large industries should use technology to prevent industrial disasters


— Photo: K. Bhagya Prakash

Preparedness: (From left) Jija Hari Singh, Director, Civil Defence, Fire and Emergency Services; Meera Datta, Principal Chief Post Master General; Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil; and V.S. Acharya, Karnataka Home Minister, releasing a special postcard at the international conference on disaster management in Bangalore on Saturday.

BANGALORE: Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil on Saturday, called on the people to be aware of every aspect of disaster management first-hand and to spread the awareness in their neighbourhood. He said the key to effective management of any disaster was the knowledge of what to do and how to take remedial measures. He was speaking at the international conference on disaster management which was organised as a part of the International Exhibition which is under way here since Thursday. The conference has been jointly organised by National Disaster Management Authority and Directorate of Home Guards, Civil Defence and Fire and Emergency Services-Karnataka.

Mr. Patil said the Centre was thinking of bringing amendments to the Civil Defence Act to make it more universal, which includes different aspects of disaster management. He said the policies on civil defence and disaster management were already in place, but the civil society had to be trained adequately for bringing various policies to fruition. He said the official machinery will also have to be motivated and educated to execute the policies.

Mr. Patil said disasters may occur anytime at any place but “we can save lives and property by integrating technology into forecast of natural disasters like the tsunami. However, the technology to forewarn the society on earthquakes was yet to be available”.

More serious

He said man-made disasters appear to be more violent than natural disasters and he cited the various terrorist attacks, including the attacks on the World Trade Centre, U.S. But tightening civil defence surveillance and educating civil society against man-made disasters would save many lives, he added. He also suggested that large industries should extensively use technology to prevent industrial disasters. He suggested that every city, town and village should take steps to strengthen their respective disaster management systems by frequent interactions and drills.

Presiding over the function, State Home Minister V.S. Acharya said that Karnataka will strive to totally implement the Civil Defence and Disaster Management Acts. He also stressed on the need to introduce disaster management in the academic curriculum at the school-level. Earlier, Director-General of Police and Commandant-General of Fire and Emergency Services Jija Hari Singh outlined the need to hold regular conferences and exhibitions on disaster management. On the occasion, the Postal Department issued a special postal cover and postcard. Principal Chief Post Master General of Karnataka Meera Dutta talked about the new postal stationery. A number of papers on aspects of civil defence and disaster management were presented by national and international experts.

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