Bhubaneswar: Drawing lessons from its past experiences, the NDRF is planning to set up sub-centres across calamity-prone Odisha, with the main hub at Munduli in Cuttack district, to ensure effective mitigation of natural disasters, a top official said.
The sub-centres will minimise response time during floods and cyclones and ensure proper distribution of resources, NDRF Director General S N Pradhan said.
"Plans are afoot to put in place a complete disaster response grid with dedicated sub-centres in northern, southern and western regions of the state."
"Setting up of the sub-centres will be of immense help in making post-disaster operations more effective," Pradhan told reporters on Sunday.
Currently, the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) operates out of its base at Munduli, dispatching its personnel from there to remote locations within Odisha and other neighbouring states to deal with any exigency.
"The sub-centres, once established, will reduce the response time and ensure swift action during disasters," the NDRF chief said.
Describing Odisha as a front-runner in mitigation of natural calamities, Pradhan said a well-knit disaster response grid will improve the handling of emergencies.
Noting that the force has learnt a lot about risk management during Cyclone Fani that hit Odisha in May, Pradhan said, "Climate change has transformed various aspects of natural phenomena which could not be comprehended beforehand."
Underlining the need to have a relook at urban planning, keeping in mind the impact of climate change, he said there was a slight delay in reconstruction work after the devastating cyclone as "building disaster-resilient infrastructure had not been given adequate attention so far".
The NDRF has prepared a report on its experiences during Cyclone Fani mitigation, which it will share with the state government, Pradhan maintained.
"While urban re-planning is necessary to deal with calamities, including floods, in the cities and towns, it is also important to focus on the tree plantation, as trees are capable of withstanding high-velocity wind, he said.