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Showing posts from September, 2020

In conversation with Shri Rajendra Singh, Member, NDMA on Aapda Mitra Initiative

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The Aapda Mitra Initiative was launched in 2016, with an aim to train 6000 community volunteers in 30 flood prone districts. Four years later, volunteers of this initiative have risen in the face of various disasters including COVID-19 to safeguard community members. Aapda Samvaad spoke with Rajendra Singh, Member, NDMA to take a peek into the progress of the initiative as well as future plans.  You recently led a team from NDMA to Uttarakhand to review the Aapda Mitra Project. Please tell us about your experience.  Haridwar is one of the districts selected under Aapda Mitra scheme. Under the scheme 200 Aapda Mitra volunteers were trained in disaster response especially flood risk management.  DDMA Haridwar conducted a flood rescue demonstration with the support of trained Aapda Mitra Volunteers. Manual rescue as well as rescue by boat was also demonstrated. The District Magistrate of Haridwar presented a brief on mitigation activities done by DDMA Haridwar.  A meeting was held with Shri

The Corona Commandos!

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Police - The Unsung Corona Warriors  - P.N. Rai, Member, Bihar State Disaster Management Authority  Among all the Corona Warriors, the A most visible yet the most underappreciated has been the humble policeman. Despite limited resources and grave risk to life, India's police agencies have risen to the challenge. Without them, achieving the primary objective of the lockdown – restricting the outbreak – would have been impossible.  As the lockdown began on the midnight of March 24, people sheltered at home, commercial activities came to a halt and transport was grounded, traditional police functions were replaced by new ones. In place of the routine duties of law-and-order maintenance, crime control, and traffic management, police were tasked to ensure that the lockdown was effective. As the situation evolved, many new responsibilities were added. As the pandemic is expected to continue for a few months more, newer dimensions of policing will emerge.  The National Policy on Disaster M

Saving Our Cities : Overcoming Urban Flooding Through Community Efforts

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On a cloudy Thursday morning, 42 year old Mr. Nayak (name changed) began his journey from his home to his office in Mumbai. The meteorological agencies had been forecasting heavy rainfall since early week. According to the forecast, heavy rainfall was to coincide with a high tide situation. Little did he know that ignoring the warnings would make him a victim of urban flood. He was stuck in traffic for 7 hours due to extremely heavy rainfall. On the same day, it was reported that a person went missing in flood waters. Of late, urban flood has become a pertinent issue in cities across the world.  Urban flood is caused by three main factors – meteorological, hydrological and human. Meteorological factors include heavy rainfall, cyclonic storms and thunderstorms; hydrological factors include presence or absence of overbank flow channel networks and occurrence of high tides impeding the drainage. Human activities such as - land use changes, surface sealing due to urbanization which increases runo

In conversation with Shri G.V.V. Sarma on urban floods

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With floods in cities increasingly becoming a menace globally, Aapda Samvaad spoke with Shri G.V.V. Sarma, Member Secretary, NDMA to better understand the nuances of urban flooding and how NDMA is working towards mitigating the same. Is it possible to foresee an urban flood, if yes, what is the methodology behind it? Ans: Use of an efficient early warning system in urban areas is very much possible. The components in this regard are local networks for real time rainfall data, Doppler Weather Radars being deployed by India Meteorological Department, Data sharing by all concerned agencies, decision support systems at the level of the urban local body with appropriate resolution. NDMA has been supporting Assam State Disaster Management Authority with technical partnership of The Energy Research Institute (TERI) to develop a decision support system for Guwahati Municipal Corporation. National and State Disaster Mitigation Funds will provide financial mechanisms to support good field initiatives.