New Delhi, June 3 (ANI): Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram today said the Disaster Management set-up in the country has changed from reactive to pro-active in the last five years, especially after the enactment of the Disaster Management Act, 2005.
Chidambaram, who chaired a meeting of the Consultative Committee of the Ministry of Home Affairs, pointed out that though relief is an important activity even today for any kind of disaster, in the changed scenario, prevention, mitigation, preparedness and reconstruction assume greater significance.
This was the third meeting of the Committee during 2011.
Chidambaram said that the Ministry of Home Affairs has allocated a lot of funds for revamping the fire services in the country, especially for purchase of modern fire fighting equipment and specialized training to fire fighters.
"The Civil Defence set- up in the country has changed from town-centric to district-centric approach for involvement of more number of youth with a special focus on 100 multi -hazard districts in the country," said Chidambaram.
"Over the years, the National Disaster Response Force has saved more than 1.4 lakh lives in different search and rescue operations. The force is equipped with all modern equipment," he added.
Chidambaram informed that the Ministry of Water Resources is taking various initiatives for embankments of the rivers originating from Nepal to prevent floods in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.
He also pointed out that the States are required to implement various safety regulations so as to prevent manmade disasters.
The members, who participated in the discussion, welcomed the initiatives taken by the Government for better disaster management in the country. They stressed the need for better ground-level implementation of various initiatives related to disaster mitigation and preparedness.
Lalu Prasad, Dr. Thokchom Meinya, Khagen Das, Bhismashankar alias Kushal Tiwari, Dr. Monazir Hassan, D.B. Chandre Gowda, Dr. Rattan Singh Ajnala, J.P. Aggarwal and Ismail Hussain from the Lok Sabha were present in the meeting.
Thomas Sangma, Bhubaneswar Kalita, H.K. Dua Dr. K. Keshava Rao, Prof. Ram Gopal Yadav, Mohd. Ali Khan, Dr. Ashok Sekhar Ganguly attended the meeting from the Rajya Sabha.
Ministers of State for Home Mullappally Ramachandran and Gurudas Kamat were among those present in the meeting. (ANI)