Gangtok, 01 Jul:

A mock drill on disaster preparedness was conducted by the North District Administration at Chungthang with the participation of Indian Army, Indo-Tibetan Border Police Force (ITBPF), National Disaster Response Force, Sikkim Police, Fire and Emergency Services and Health Department.

An earthquake like scenario was envisaged at Chungthang and the mock drill exercise was carried out in four locations of the town.

The first scenario was located in the Teesta Urja Reservoir Dam where rescue of people from the reservoir was carried out by NDRF. NDRF personnel with their motorized raft entered the reservoir and rescued people stranded on the other side of the bank.

A search and rescue operation was demonstrated by ITBPF at Tasa Tengay school building where different methods of rescue from collapsed building was demonstrated. The Indian Army demonstrated its search and rescue operation at Girls Hostel Building and Medical Unit of the Indian Army demonstrated the medical triage process carried out in case of massive disasters.

The NDRF and Fire and Emergency Services demonstrated search and rescue techniques at the building of the Block Administrative Center, Chungthang. The mock drill was enthusiastically participated by all the stakeholders, students, Panchayats and public of the town.

Speaking at the de-briefing session, the District Collector (North), Karma R Bonpo informed that the mock drill was to test the coordination among the various stakeholders involved in disaster management. It was important to share the knowledge and have an idea about the capabilities of each agency so that in the event of disasters, help and support can be sought quickly and easily. He informed during the mock drill that it was evident that proper town planning of Chungthang was required and broader roads required for easy movement of machinery and vehicles.

Sub Divisional Magistrates of Dzongu and Mangan along with the Sub Divisional Project Officers of Chungthang, Medical officers from Armed Forces Medical Unit, Officers of Indian Army and ITBPF actively participated in the event.