Secure all health facilities, oxygen plants during upcoming monsoon: Home secy to states, UTs

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New Delhi, May 21 (PTI) Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla on Friday reviewed the national disaster management apparatus and 'advised' concerned agencies to be better prepared, secure all oxygen generation plants and health facilities during the upcoming monsoon season amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Bhalla made the remarks, according to an official statement issued by the home ministry, during the annual conference of relief commissioners and secretaries of the departments of disaster management of states and union territories, over a video conference link.

'The conference was convened primarily to review the status of preparedness for dealing with natural disasters that may arise during the south-west monsoon 2021,' the statement said.

In his inaugural address, it said, Bhalla 'stressed on the need for building up capacities and response reflexes to ensure 24x7 preparedness throughout the year.' “He also advised all authorities to make extra efforts to secure all health facilities, oxygen generation plants from heavy rains/floods during the south-west monsoon or any other impending disaster.' 'The union home secretary asked all concerned officials of the central and the state governments to be better prepared, amid the COVID-19 pandemic, to minimise losses due to natural disasters, such as floods, cyclones, earthquakes etc,' the statement said.

A 4.0 version of the national database for emergency management (NDEM), developed by the National Remote Sensing Centre (NRSC), was also released during the conference.

'This is very helpful in integration of real time alerts and warning from forecasting agencies and dissemination of this to disaster management authorities up to district level for disaster risk reduction in the country,' it said.

The Indian Metrological Department (MD) made a presentation on forecasting, warning and dissemination mechanism, response and preparedness measures and their future plans for enhancing capability in the field of disaster management during the meeting, it said.

The conference was attended by representatives of states and union territories, central ministries, central armed police forces, central water commission (CWC), snow and avalanche study establishment (SASE), NRSC, ISRO, GSI and other scientific organisations.

Officers from the various armed forces and the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) also participated.

'Issues connected with disaster preparedness, early warning systems, flood and river/reservoir management, disaster management, on-site and off-site plans of the states and union territories were discussed,' it said. PTI NES RHL

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