Karnataka govt revives state disaster management authority

Bengaluru, Nov 22 (PTI) The Karnataka government has revived the State Disaster Management Authority (SDMA) and taken steps to set up such authorities at the district-level as well, state Revenue Minister R Ashoka said on Friday.

The SDMA would form teams and deploy them in each district as well as 19 government departments.

They would be equipped like the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) to act quickly in the event of any calamity, the minister told a press conference.

The government stumbled upon the idea of reviving SDMA following the floods in many parts of the state.

We have formed a State Disaster Management Authority which met recently. The previous government never initiated any measure to strengthen the Authority despite a 10-year-old court direction to establish it, Ashoka said.

The government has also issued direction to set up such authorities in every district, he added.

In the event of calamities, the authorities would act swiftly even before the arrival of the NDRF to provide relief to the victims of disasters.

We have constituted teams comprising 200 people at four places in Karnataka which will work under SDMA. They will be located at four places Bengaluru, Hubballi, Hyderabad- Karnataka region and coastal Karnataka, the Minister said.

He added that the government has identified 19 departments such as those of health, food, agriculture, animal husbandry, among others where such teams would be positioned.

In the event of calamities, we may not have to send messages to the departments to join the rescue operations.

The teams in the 19 departments will come on their own.

We will impart them training and purchase equipment and vehicles on par with NDRF, the minister said.

Ashoka said most of the personnel in the teams would come from police, fire and emergency services.

A senior government official, dealing with natural disaster management, told PTI that the authority existed earlier but was now almost defunct.

The new government in the state has revived it and initiated measures to set it up in every district, said the official.

He added that deputy commissioners of the district would be the president of the District Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) while the district Panchayat president would be its vice-president. PTI GMS NVG NVG