Union Home Secretary R.K. Singh Monday called for cutting down the delays in early warning for disasters to ensure prompt action at the grassroots to prepare, prevent and mitigate the sufferings of people.
Inaugurating the annual conference of relief commissioners and secretaries of disaster management departments of the state governments and union territories, the home secretary also stressed on the need to focus on the whole gamut of disaster management, with an emphasis on the measures of preparedness, prevention and mitigation.
There is a "need for cutting the delay in dissemination of the early warning by the forecasting agencies to the responders for ensuring prompt action by them", a home ministry release quoted Singh as saying in his address.
The conference is being held to review the preparedness relating to the southwest monsoon this year.
Bringing out the importance of institutions set up under the Disaster Management Act, 2005, Singh urged the states and union territories to strengthen these establishments.
Border Management Secretary A.E. Ahmad, in his keynote address, asked the disaster managers of states, union territories, central ministries and departments to expedite the activities relating to preparedness, response and capacity building.
He informed the conference participants about the initiatives taken by the central government to strengthen Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) in the past year.
Joint Secretary (Disaster Management) R.K. Srivastava made a presentation on the key issues and challenges being faced by the disaster management departments in the states and union territories and also at the national level, and the measures required to address them.
Various central agencies such as the India Meteorological Department, Central Water Commission, Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services, Indian Space Research Organisation, Defence Research and Development Organisation, National Disaster Response Force, National Disaster Management Authority, and the defence ministry made presentation about their efforts at enhancing the states' capacities to meet the challenges of the forthcoming monsoon and cyclones.