By Arun Pratap Singh
Dehradun, 7 Nov: A study conducted by Dehradun-based think tank, SDC Foundation, on major natural calamities and accidents in Uttarakhand has revealed that, in the month of October 2022, a total of 74 deaths occurred in four major disasters and accidents in Uttarakhand. The organisation led by activist Anoop Nautiyal has urged the government to draw inspiration from the famous Odisha model on disaster management which has won global praise.
Nautiyal stated that the SDC Foundation would now release reports on major natural calamities and accidents in Uttarakhand every month. This would be termed the Uttarakhand Disaster and Accident Synopsis (UDAS) Monthly Reports. The report would document the major disasters and accidents occurring in the state throughout the month and also those occurring at one place.
He expressed the hope that the UDAS Monthly Report would be helpful to political leaders, policy makers, officials, researchers, educational institutions, civil society organisations as well as media. The compilation of these reports could be useful for disaster management as well as while formulating accident mitigation policies in the state of Uttarakhand.
Nautiyal also expressed concern about the weak disaster management system in Uttarakhand for the past 20 years. He said the Odisha model offered important lessons on strengthening disaster risk governance, investing in preparedness and scenario planning and spreading greater understanding of disaster risks. The 1999 cyclone killed nearly 10,000 people in Odisha but, after this, no calamity of this scale was ever repeated due to putting in place an effective disaster management policy.
He said that the Uttarakhand government and the disaster management department need to involve frontline workers like PRI members, ASHA and Anganwadi workers, NGOs and community level volunteers, all government employees, fire services and police personnel in these efforts in order to reduce the loss of life and property due to disasters.