Army, agencies carry out drill to tackle urban flooding in Assam

Guwahati, June 29 (IANS) The army, Assam government, the Assam State Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA) and other rescue and relief agencies carried out an exercise for tackling urban flooding, and provide humanitarian assistance and disaster relief on Wednesday.

The exercise was carried out on the southern bank of the Brahmaputra river near Bhutnath in Santipur area of Guwahati.

Called Jalrahat, the over hour-long drill, kept the spectators on the edge of their seats as personnel from the army, navy and air force, the National Disaster Management Authority, the ASDMA and other agencies worked in tandem to rescue marooned people.

The exercise also showcased how people can save themselves by adopting simple techniques with materials that are available in their surroundings.

The highlights of the drill were aerial recce, rescue by boats, rooftop rescue using helicopters, rescue by aerial ropeway, diving operation, small team incision and extrication operation, manual rescue from multi-storey buildings and dropping of food supplies by helicopters.

Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, who was present on the occasion, said that the plan put in place will help to rescue marooned people in the event of flooding in Guwahati city.

“With the kind of sophistication induced in our technology systems, the rescue and relief operations have got a shot in the arm,” he said.

Thanking the armed forces and other agencies, Sonowal pointed out that such exercises should be carried out in rural and interior areas so that people there get valuable tips on how to save themselves at the time of calamities.

“It will be a good endeavour if such exercises are carried out in the rural, far-flung and interior areas of the state to create awareness. People in those areas will get valuable tips as to how to fend themselves,” he said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi released the first National Disaster Management Plan 2016 on June 1 and India will host the Asian Ministerial Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction in November.

Lt. Gen Devraj Anbu who heads the army’s 4 Corps said the key facets of the National Disaster Management Plan 2016 have been integrated into understanding of disaster risks, disaster risk reduction and enhancing disaster preparedness to save precious lines.

“The aim of the exercise is to synergise the efforts of all stakeholders for enhancing disaster preparedness, assess the effectiveness of the plan, organisational skills and decision support system at each stage of the flood rescue and relief efforts,” he said.

Anbu said disaster management right from the planning stage has been evolved with coordinated efforts of the armed forces, National Disaster Management Authority, Assam State Disaster Management Authority and other agencies.

–IANS

ah/bim/vt

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