Relief Commissioner takes stock of statewide monsoon preparedness

Gangtok, 03 May (IPR): Amidst the ongoing spell of pre-monsoon showers across the state, a state level Pre-Monsoon Preparedness Meeting was held today at Chintan Bhawan. The meeting was chaired by State Relief Commissioner, Secretary Land Revenue and Disaster Management Department, Tsegyal Tashi.

The meeting was also attended by Special Secretary of Land Revenue and Disaster Management Department, Rinzing Chewang, officials from all line departments, representatives from Central Government agencies, Central Water Commission (CWC), Army, ITBP, SSB, BSNL, Hydropower developers, nodal officers from different departments, officials and staff from Sikkim State Disaster Management Authority (SSDMA) and representatives from NGO agencies.

The State Relief Commissioner took stock of the preparedness of various state and central agencies to tackle the situation in the event of a disaster.

During the meeting, lessons learned from the previous preparedness meetings and disaster response activities were shared among the participants.

In his opening remarks, the State Relief Commissioner directed all the line departments to further review and submit their Office Disaster Management Plans as soon as possible. He urged the participants to take advance action in order to tackle the upcoming monsoon.

He also sought better coordination between the personnel of State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) and National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) in order to tackle disasters collectively.

He said that natural disasters are unpredictable and inevitable therefore it is imperative to impart necessary training to SDRF personnel and Civil Defence institutions. He further emphasised the need for greater coordination and co-operation from various stakeholders and non-governmental agencies.

He also highlighted on the crucial role of the Police and Fire & Emergency Department, Health Department, Food and Civil Supplies Department, PHE Department, Power Department, SSDMA, NDRF, ARMY, ITBP, Civil Defence Institutions and NGO in combating disasters and future calamities.

Various issues like framing of Office Management Disaster Plan by all the departments, preparation of department-wise monsoon preparedness plans, disaster relief measures, early warning systems, checking the readiness of equipment and communication systems, advance procurement of necessary relief materials, coordinated approach for disaster response in the four districts and community-based disaster management were highlighted at the meeting.

Vital suggestions and preventive measures for the upcoming monsoon were shared and deliberated upon by the participants. During the meeting measures and good practices being adopted by the state and central government to address disaster management related issues in the state were discussed at length.