Threefold increase in NDRF equipment procurement this year

ArrayNew Delhi, Dec 30 (IANS) In a bid to scale up the preparedness for quick response at the time of earthquakes, floods and other natural calamities, the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) increased its procurement of equipment three times in this financial year (2015-16).

In 2015-16, the NDRF spent Rs.42 crore for purchasing 21 pieces of equipment. Last year (2014-15), it spent Rs.14.3 crore for seven pieces of equipment.

In 2010-11, the NDRF purchased just one equipment spending Rs.1.72 crore, in 2011-12 five equipment were purchased at Rs.2.62 core. In 2012-13, it spent Rs.8.9 crore for nine equipment and in 2013-14, it spent Rs.11.59 crore for only three equipment.

The NDRF will also be sending a proposal to the government to purchase more advanced equipment next year, including snake eye cam, an inspection tool which will help in capturing visuals from the most difficult positions; inflatable balloon lights, ground censor radar, and pneumatic shoring systems.

“We will be sending a proposal to the home ministry shortly to inform them what all equipment we need for next year. We have a proposal to spend Rs.58 crore on equipment next year. This year we’ve bought 21 equipment as against four or five in the last five years. We have given a lot of emphasis on procurement of equipment this year,” said NDRF Director General O.P. Singh.

“We will also be sending a proposal to the ministry to improve communications during disasters. Proposal will be give to improve Local Area Network (LAN) so that we can easily reach out to our people and the community at large at the time of disaster,” added Singh.

In 2015, the NDRF rescued more than 51,000 people. The NDRF is also planning to increase its expertise on rescuing people from borewells.

“In certain states like Rajasthan, UP and Bihar, we’ve been responding in a very small scale to borewell falls. In most of the cases, we’ve have been successful in rescuing children from borewells though we don’t have expertise on that,” said Singh.

“We have been contacting a number of scientsits and experts so that they can tell us about the methods to rescue people and equipment needed for rescue operations. We have recently contacted a scientist from Lucknow. This is how we are sharpening our expertise.

“The Lucknow scientist has developing an equipment for borewell rescue operations but we haven’t validated it yet. We are also planning to purchase new equipment from a Chennai firm for borewell rescue operations.”

The NDRF has so far rescued seven people from borewells — one in Tamil Nadu, one in Maharashtra, four in Gujarat and one in Punjab.

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