A webinar on International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction was jointly organised by National Institute of Disaster Management, Ministry of Home Affairs and Institution of Engineers (India), J&K State Centre, Srinagar, in collaboration with Divisional Administration, Kashmir, J&K Forest Department and Indian Red Cross Society, J&K Branch, Srinagar.
The webinar started with the address by Principal Chief Conservator of Forests, Dr Mohit Gera, who talked about the loss of precious forest cover and biodiversity, due to forest fires and human intervention.
He said that 190 fire control rooms have been established in Jammu division and 100 in Kashmir.
Divisional Commissioner Kashmir, Pandurang K. Pole said that there has been paradigm shift from relief and response, to mitigation, early warning and risk reduction.
He urged upon all Additional Deputy Commissioners, in their capacity as CEOs of the District Disaster Management Authority to take the lead role and benefit from such webinars, which give opportunities to the administrators to know where we are and where we ought to be, by knowing the best practices being implemented in other parts of the country and world.
President, Institution of Engineers (India) Er. Narendra Singh, informed that IEI which is the largest multidisciplinary organisation of engineers in India is celebrating its Centenary year, towards its service towards nation building.
He mentioned that IEI has also established a disaster mitigation centre and focus is on how to reduce exposure to disaster risk.
Former Director NIDM, Dr Satendra Singh spoke on Climate Change. Er Arjimand Hussain, founder Ziraat Times said that reduction in vulnerability to natural disasters saves lives, reduces poverty and also minimises economic and financial losses.
He suggested the need to plan for unanticipated disasters like pandemics and strengthen response systems and health institutions and engage with private sector and also focus on issues of climate change and community based preparedness.
Pushpender Johari, Sr Vice President RMSI India Pvt Ltd. gave a detailed presentation about various studies being conducted by RMSI related to Multi Hazard Risk Assessment, probalistic Earthquake hazard models, risk assessments for Floods, River Morphology Study, Flash Floods, GLOF, Avalanche, Drought, Forest Fires.
He also mentioned about the social and physical vulnerability survey conducted and Disaster Risk Data Base, Integrated Operational Forecasting System and its integration into a State of the Art Decision Support System and the mobile apps being developed for better response.
Dr Amir Ali Khan, Faculty NIDM said there is need to create awareness amongst all the stakeholders to make the society safe from impending disasters.
Earlier, Er Aamir Ali Mir, Chairman IEI J&K State Centre Srinagar said there is need to increase understanding of disaster risk reduction measures so that communities can be safer.
He said that the endeavor of the webinar was to try and establish a coordination and Institutional mechanism, between various agencies, dealing with emergencies, like the Revenue Department & Disaster Management Authorities and help them put in place proper disaster risk reduction strategies, in order to manage and reduce existing levels of risks and avoid creation of new risks.
Irfan Ali, Conservator Forests HQ said that there is need to include Forest Fires as notified disasters. He said that Village Forest Committees need to be trained and equipped so that they can act as the first responders in case of a forest fire.
Yogita Garbyal from NIDM facilitated the webinar.