New Delhi, April 19 (IANS) The National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) will conduct its first mock exercise on forest fires covering all districts of Uttarakhand, an official here said on Wednesday.
NDMA, the apex body of the disaster management in the country, will conduct the drill with the help of National and State Disaster Response Forces and other departments of the state administration on Wednesday.
“The exercise, to be conducted in collaboration with the state government, is aimed at assessing the efficacy of integrating the response mechanisms of the forest department with those of the district administration,” the Ministry of Home Affairs said in a release.
To ensure necessary arrangements for conducting the mock exercise, NDMA conducted a table-top exercise with all district magistrates and Divisional Forest Officers of Uttarakhand through video-conferencing from Dehradun.
Uttarakhand, with more than 60 per cent of forest cover, is prone to forest fires during the summer months which destroys the flora and fauna of the Himalayan state.
Last year, a forest fire in Uttarakhand lasted for around 90 days, killing seven persons even as more than 6,000 personnel from the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), State Disaster Response Force (SDRF), state police, forest staff and volunteers were deployed.
NDMA regularly conducts such mock exercises across the country and has so far conducted more than 550 mock exercises in different states and Union Territories.