M A I N   N E W S

Two disaster management battalions for C-Games
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Jammu, December 22
Next year’s Commonwealth Games would among other security arrangements have in place a cover against biological, chemical and radioactive threats. The National Disaster Management would be deploying two battalions trained in handling such disasters.

Though there was no specific alert , the battalions would be deployed as a precautionary measure to ensure the safety of over 8,000 sportspersons, officials and thousands of spectators.

National Disaster Management Authority vice-chairman and former Army Staff chief NC Vij said here today that disaster management was all about remaining in a general state of preparedness. “We have raised eight battalions, which are deployed in zones prone to earthquakes and floods. Two of them will be deployed at the Commonwealth Games, scheduled in October next… No, there is no terrorist threat. It’s only a precautionary measure.”

Vij, who belongs to Jammu but mostly remains in Delhi (as he manages the NDMA affairs), enjoys the status of a Union Minister of State. He was here to attend a three-day conference on “Integrating hospitals, safe from disasters”.

The NDMA vice-chairman — Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is the chairman — said of all the structures in the country hospitals should be made resilient to earthquakes. “These are the places we need the most after a disaster. They have to be the safest.”

Discussing the paradigm shift in the disaster management policy, Vij said the NDMA aim was not to be caught in a state of non-preparedness during an emergency, if ever. “Though disasters like earthquakes can’t be predicted, we still have (earthquake) prone areas. Also, disasters like floods come without a warning... We are sensitising people to respond on their own so as to ensure minimum loss to life during emergencies.”



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