Home Minister Amit Shah on Saturday expressed concern over growing forest fires in the hills and asked the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and State Disaster Response Forces (SDRFs) to be prepared for the same.
Addressing the ‘Annual Conference on Capacity Building of SDRFs, Civil Defence, Home Guard and Fire Services’, organised by the NDRF in New Delhi, Shah said, “Frequent forest fires breaking out in hilly regions is a growing threat. It needs to be responded to effectively.”
The Home Minister also laid stress on Make in India and exhorted the NDRF to coordinate with agencies such as DRDO to get the disaster relief equipment manufactured indigenously. He also urged the NDRF to try seeking the assistance of PSUs and private enterprises in procuring disaster relief equipment which could be used in rescue and relief operations.
Shah asked all those working in the disaster response and mitigation sectors to make India number one in the world in responding to natural disasters.He cited the Orissa cyclone in 1999 in which more than 10,000 people had died as compared to the recent cyclone Fani that claimed 64 lives, which reflected the enhanced capabilities of disaster response mechanisms.
“But we should not rest till we make our country number one in the world in mitigating and responding to natural disasters,” he said.
The Home Minister assured that the government would provide all necessary resources and equipment to realise this objective.