NEW DELHI :
Representatives of the Union home ministry’s disaster relief agencies have partnered with the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) to brainstorm on methods to mitigate the effects of natural calamities, just weeks after floods ravaged Assam, Bihar and Karnataka.
The agencies will devise standard operating procedures and post-disaster responses, considering that regions, such as Pakistan and India, are vulnerable to earthquakes and floods.
Speaking at an event in New Delhi on Monday, Union home minister Amit Shah said: “From 1996 to 2015, about three lakh people have lost their lives from natural calamities in SCO countries. More than two lakh people have lost their lives from earthquakes. The SCO countries, thus, need to find a way out of the calamity of earthquakes."
India, China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan are participating in the exercise.
Approximately 40% of the global population lives in the SCO countries, a region that at present is spearheading the world’s fastest growing economies, Shah said. “If we prevent such disasters from ravaging our countries, it would have positive effects at the global level."
The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) is hosting the exercise, the aim of which is “to also provide an opportunity to enhance the coordination and cooperation involving multiagency operations in an earthquake scenario", said NDRF director general S.N. Pradhan.
All SCO experts will also meet several nodal agencies of disaster management and training. A humanitarian civil-military coordination will also be discussed by all eight member-nations.
“The regional situation is undergoing a complex climatic change and actions in one part affect the other. Only through proper coordination can countries face climatic threats. SCO countries are prone to disasters. The frequency of hazards is likely to increase and to save lives from being lost much more needs to be done by disaster agencies. Such joint exercises will address the aspect of join response to disaster by pooling responses in any of the SCO countries," said home secretary Ajay Kumar Bhalla.