By Our Staff Reporter
Dehradun, 19 Jun: Minister of State for Disaster Management, Dhan Singh Rawat today called on Union Minister of State for Home Nityanand Rai, in Delhi, and handed over a five-point demand letter to him. The demands are related to disaster management in Uttarakhand, which owning to its geographical terrain is highly prone to natural calamities such as landslides, cloud bursts and earthquakes. The demands submitted by Dhan Singh Rawat include a demand for provision of two air ambulances to carry out rescue and relief operations in calamity struck localities. One ambulance each is proposed to be stationed in Garhwal and Kumaon divisions respectively. The other demands made by Rawat on behalf of Uttarakhand included help in setting up of a disaster management research institute in the summer capital Gairsain, to raise the disaster mitigation fund, and state disaster response fund, for the rehabilitation of the most vulnerable villages of the state.
In a statement issued to the media after meeting the Union Minister of State for Home Affairs, Dhan Singh Rawat said that Uttarakhand was very vulnerable to various types of natural calamities particularly in the hills, and there was always a possibility of loss of lives and property due to the occurrence of landslides, excessive rainfall, avalanches and cloudbursts and floods in the plains. To deal with this, two air ambulances had been demanded from the union government, he stated. When made available, these air ambulances would help reduce loss of lives through more efficient rescue operations and through reducing response time to the disasters, he stressed. He further added that with the establishment of Disaster Management Research Institute in summer capital Gairsain to deal with various disasters in view of the odd geographical conditions of the state, a detailed study on the disaster coming in the state would enable development of new technologies to deal with the challenges of the future. The benefit of which would also be available to other disaster prone states across the country.
Rawat added that Uttarakhand had also demanded an increase in the central fund and relief amount for the rehabilitation of villages in the most sensitive and sensitive areas of the state. This would increase the availability of resources for relief and rescue operations as well as speed up the rehabilitation of disaster-hit villages. He claimed that due to the complexity of the rules in declaring missing people dead and issuing death certificates, it usually took a lot of time due to provide relief to the victims of calamities in the state. Therefore a demand had been made to relax the said norms. The Minister claimed that Union Minister of State for Home Nityanand Rai, had taken a positive view of the demands and had assured him a positive and appropriate action on the state’s demands on a priority basis. National Disaster Management Authority member Rajendra Singh was also present during the meeting. During the meeting Dhand Singh Rawat also invited the Union Minister of State for Home, Rai to come to Uttarakhand when the situation returned to normal post Covid pandemic.