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Prevention is one of the ways to mitigate not just risk but cost as well: Chairman, Central Vista Oversight Committee

Jul 21, 2023

  • Regular mock-drills imperative to enhance level of preparedness for any disaster

NEW DELHI, 21 July 2023: Mr Ratan P Watal, Chairman, Central Vista Oversight Committee, Government of India, yesterday emphasized that prevention is one of the ways to mitigate not only the risk but also the cost. While referring to the past incidents of radioactive leakages, he underscored the significance of organizing regular mock drills for enhancing the level of preparedness. “We need to keep conducting mock drills on a regular basis, in order to get prepared for any disaster,” he stated while inaugurating the two-day ‘Conference and Mock Drill on Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) Disaster Risk’ organised by FICCI and ECIL under the aegis of Central Vista Oversight Committee, Government of India.

Mr Manoj Joshi, Secretary, Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, Government of India said, “Identifying Disaster Risk is the most important task that must be undertaken in the cities and strategy must be worked out to reduce the risks”. He further added that involvement of large-scale Indian Industry in manufacturing of biological and chemical detection equipment locally is important for its deployment and reducing the cost.

Dr Ajit Kumar Mohanty, Secretary, Department of Atomic Energy & Chairman, Atomic Energy Commission, Government of India elaborated on the key role of the Department in providing essential technical support to National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and local administration during suspected and potential CBRN events involving radiological and nuclear materials. Dr Mohanty highlighted the need to continue capacity building and enhancing technical expertise to mitigate threats.

Dr Atul Goel, Director General, Health Services (DGHS), Department of Health and Family Welfare, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India underscored the importance of preparedness, and the crucial role government and private agencies can play to avoid panic during emergency situations. He further added that proper disposal of radioactive substance is particularly an essential aspect of the CBRN response.

Mr Atul Karwal, Director General, National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India, highlighted the crucial role played by NDRF during emergencies. CBRN disasters require specialised response and regular mock exercises are extremely important to prepare for any eventuality, he added.

Mr Anurag Kumar, CMD, Electronics Corporation of India Limited (ECIL) during his address mentioned that CBRN disaster can push back economy by several years and decades and collaborative effort from all the stakeholders is required to safeguard the nation against such risks.

Mr Shailesh K Pathak, Secretary General, FICCI said, “Business continuity for Indian industry and commerce, whether large or small scale, is essential. In addition to the humane aspects, disasters hit businesses the most. CBRN security is a high priority for protecting the nation's critical infrastructure to ensure reliability, high performance, and safety of business operations during emergencies.”

Prof Vinod Sharma, Chairman, FICCI Committee on Disaster Management and Vice Chairman, Sikkim State Disaster Management Authority delivered the Vote of Thanks

The two-day programme witnessed large participation from various departments and nodal agencies. It concluded with the Mock Exercise organised today at the Buddha Gallery, National Museum, Ministry of Culture, Government of India where all the stakeholders including local administration, NDMA, DDMA, NDRF, Delhi Police, CISF, Traffic Police, designated hospitals and agencies, etc. participated.

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