Disaster mitigation should be everyone’s business, Minister stresses Land Revenue Minister underline

Gangtok, 18 Sept:

Minister KN Lepcha, took a dig at elected members and bureaucrats when it comes to sidestepping safety regulations when he commented today that they have bypassed the very building bye-laws and the parameters prescribed by them while constructing their own high rise buildings in the State.

He remarked that if the people, those wielding power or otherwise, had not diluted the safety rules and laws, the challenges posed to disaster risk reduction in the Hills would not have been as grave.

The Minister who is in charge of Land Revenue and Disaster Management Department was addressing the inaugural session of a two-day regional workshop on Challenges on Disaster Risk Reduction of Hill Areas here at Chintan Bhawan today.

Since Sikkim has legislated several laws towards ensuring safety and disaster mitigation, the Minister called upon the administration in particular and people at large and also elected members to follow the rules properly so that implementation can also be done properly.

Highlighting the objective of the regional workshop, Mr Lepcha said that the workshop’s aim was to come up with a set of actionable recommendations keeping science, policy and institutional capacities in mind to reduce the impact of climate change related disasters.

He stressed the need to bring together various stakeholders to build awareness on the impact of climate change and natural disasters and work towards disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation. He also urged the members and line department officials present to be part of the solution to these growing challenges.

He said that if all the people followed the prescribed rules and procedures, Sikkim will become one of the best model states in terms of disaster risk reduction in Hills areas.

He also called upon all the stakeholders, including scientific, government, civil society and communities to strengthen the capacities of the State authorities on climate change related disaster risk resilience.

The workshop, organized by Sikkim State Disaster Management Authority in collaboration with National Disaster Management Authority is being attended by several experts on natural disasters and climate change.

Deputy Chairperson, SSDMA, VK Sharma, in his address, said that during the last 6–7 years, Sikkim has progressed exceptionally in disaster mitigation interventions and was leading in terms of many aspects.

SSDMA also honoured rescue personnel on the occasion.