April 19, 2014
1000 days at a glance: Prepared for the worst disaster
An efficient administrative setup accompanied by long-term vision is required to mitigate the risks and disasters and the new state government has been successful in delivering that.
Here are some of the achievements of the Department of Disaster Management:
Quick warning system: Arrangements have been made to send early warning messages on disaster to every mobile phone user of the state.
Special arrangements to help the common people:
- Arrangement has been made to keep the Emergency Operation Centre at Nabanna open on a 24×7 basis throughout the year.
- A similar centre has been opened at the office of the resident commissioner of West Bengal in New Delhi to serve the people of the state staying outside the state who have been affected by disaster.
- Disaster response teams (QRTs) constituted with 800 specially trained personnel from both Kolkata Police and West Bengal Police have been kept ready at different places (Kolkata, Barrackpore, Raigunj, Siliguri, Krishnanagar, Asansol, Barjora)
- Quick response teams (QRTs) along with cars furnished with necessary equipments have been kept ready to combat any disaster at the district level.
- Civil defence rescue vehicle (CDRV) services have been started to ensure a quick response to any disaster.
A new step for relief operations:
- New types of equipments called Disaster Management Family Kits are distributed among people affected by disasters.
- Families affected by natural disasters are being offered quick financial assistance and the afflicted people are being provided with sarees, dhotis, lungis and children`s garments of good quality free of cost.
A positive move to prevent loss of life:
- 107 multipurpose cyclone/flood relief shelters have been constructed, which have already started functioning.
- Two hundred more shelters of this kind would be set up.
- 7000 youth volunteers from the districts have been trained in flood rescue and relief operations.
Spreading mass awareness:
- Emphasis has been put on spreading mass awareness through measures such as printing calendars and booklets, creating graffiti and banners, enacting street theatre, advertisements on radio and TV etc.
- To spread awareness in the earthquake-prone areas of Darjeeling, Jalpaiguri and Coochbehar districts, work for National School Security Programme (NSSP) is going on.
Humane face of the government:
- Only in West Bengal is a compensation of Rs 1 lakh given to the family of a person who has died from snake bite.
- A financial assistance of Rs 3 lakh was given to the relatives of each dead victim in the AMRI Hospital fire accident. This apart, government services have been provided for the next of kin of the dead.
- A financial assistance of total ling around Rs 250 crore has been extended to the approximately 3 lakh families affected due to natural calamities and fire accidents.
Active Administration during times of need:
- Four thousand people from West Bengal who were trapped by the flash floods in Uttarakhand were rescued and sent back home by special trains and flights.
- Help was extended to the people from the state who were affected by the landslides in Himachal Pradesh,in the bus accident in Nepal and by the building collapse in Mumbai.
Active disaster management team even outside the state: 12,000 food packets were distributed by helicopters to the people affected by the earthquake in northern Sikkim on September 8, 2011. 75,000 tarpaulins, 40,000 biscuit packets and 1000 quintals of flat rice were distributed to those affected by the cyclone Phailin in Odisha.