New Delhi: Union Home Secretary Rajiv Gauba called on the states and Union Territories to step up their preparedness by advance planning and deployment of human, physical and financial resources ahead of the monsoon season, an official release said.
Speaking at the annual conference of Relief Commissioners/Secretaries to review preparedness for South West Monsoon-2019, Gauba said, "The Centre would provide all possible assistance under the National Disaster Relief Fund (NDRF) and the State Disaster Relief Fund (SDRF) besides mobilization of Central Forces."
"The Centre had released more than Rs. 7,000 crores under SDRF and an additional Rs. 10,000 crore under NDRF last year to the States for Disaster Relief," the release read.
Gauba called upon the States to undertake capacity building of urban local bodies, State Disaster Response Force, Fire Service, and Civil Defence since they are the first responders during a calamity.
"During the recent cyclone Fani, loss of human lives was minimal due to accurate and early weather forecasting by India Meteorological Department (IMD) and timely mobilization of resources besides better coordination among Centre, State Governments and other relevant agencies," he said.
Citing a UN Report, the Union Home Secretary said that disasters had caused economic losses of US $3 trillion globally during the last two decades.
"India alone suffered losses to the tune of $80 billion during 1997-2017," the release read.
Stating that our country is prone to various kinds of disasters, Gauba called for building Disaster Resilient Infrastructure as a long term measure to minimise economic losses.
Addressing the conference, Dr. DN Sharma, Member, National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), said: "India has been able to reduce deaths due to natural disasters substantially. While 385 people had died last year due to natural disasters, the figure came down to 195 this year."