The Central government has decided to set up a unit of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) agency in PM Narendra Modi’s constituency – Varanasi – to ensure quick relief in case of natural calamity or man-made disasters in eastern Uttar Pradesh.
The Force, under the Ministry of Home Affairs’ National Disaster Management Authority, will station a unit on a land area of three acre with 100 personnel ready to combat any natural or man-made disasters. The set up of the unit in Varanasi is largely being seen as a step towards fulfilling the promises that Modi had made for the development of eastern UP.
NDRF Director General Dr Mahboob Alam visited Varanasi Monday and discussed formalities with the local administration. To set up the unit, the DG has sought a temporary space where the 100 personnel will be stationed some time next week while the administration, in the meantime, will work on the DG’s demand for a three-acre land to erect a permanent building for the unit.
The need to station an NDRF unit in Varanasi, which falls in the centre of eastern UP, arises from the fact that the area currently does not have any response force nearby and “during calamity or accidents in eastern UP, the NDRF has to be called from either Patna or Ghaziabad, which takes a lot of time to reach the site”, Alam says.
“A unit in Varanasi will cut down response time for deployment of personnel at the site of disaster,” he said.
Varanasi DM Pranjal Yadav informed the “temporary unit will be stationed at the cultural complex in Chauka Ghat for a few months”. In a year’s time, the DM said, a permanent building would have been set up on a three-acre land area. He added the administration has already started searching for the land.
“The Centre has chosen June for deputing NDRF personnel as monsoon arrives in the state rivers start surging above danger mark. The unit will be on alert for next three months,” said an official of the Varanasi district administration.
Nearly every year, flood in eastern part of the state creates havoc during monsoon and post-monsoon season as villages with thousands of hectare land get submerged by the rise in water level in rivers like Ghaghara, Saryu, Ganga and Ramganga. Moreover, boat capsize incidents often occur in these rivers throughout the year.