Give us permanent NDRF team: Raigad tells Maharashtra government

Updated: 08 September, 2020 07:43 IST | Vinod Kumar Menon | Mumbai

Two disasters in three months: permanent centrally located base to reduce travel time, make rescue effective

Property that was damaged in Raigad by Cyclone Nisarga
Property that was damaged in Raigad by Cyclone Nisarga

The Raigad district collector has proposed a permanent NDRF team in the district owing to the recent building collapse in Mahad, which killed 16 and injured nine. Three months ago, Raigad also witnessed Cyclone Nisarga that required large-scale relief work.

According to sources in the district administration, it took the NDRF team nearly five hours to reach Tarique Garden from their base camp in Maval, Pune. NDRF sources said, "We had started around 7.30 pm and our first team reached Mahad by 1.10 am. The delay was caused by bad roads after Khalapur via Pen. In disasters like building collapses, every second counts. Faster the rescue operation begins, more the number of trapped that can be rescued."

NDRF personnel at the Tarique Garden collapse
NDRF personnel at the Tarique Garden collapse

Collector Nidhi Choudhary said, "I have written to the state disaster management for a permanent NDRF team in Raigad. We will provide a temporary space and will look for a permanent location for a Raigad centre. It will also have a ground for training."

Choudhary added, "The state government has written to the NDRF Pune. One team of NDRF is temporarily stationed in Raigad. The NDRF (Western Region) will make relevant arrangements."

NDRF Commandant Anupam Srivastava
NDRF Commandant Anupam Srivastava

The district administration has also finalised a temporary location. "We have two options — Mangaon or Mahad. Both are centrally located. Panvel is easily accessible for the NDRF team in Mumbai," Choudhary said. The tehsildars of the two places have been asked to look for locations where a permanent base can be set up.

"Every life we are able to save from a crash site, makes our belief in the divine and miracles stronger," said Anupam Srivastava, Commandant (Western Region) Maharashtra and Goa, after he learnt of his team pulling out Nadim Bangi, 4, alive almost 19 hours after the collapse.

Srivastava said, "This is the second building crash this year where the NDRF played a pivotal role. Though reaching Mahad took almost over five hours despite the green corridor due to potholes and bad roads after we left the Mumbai-Pune express highway."

Mumbai at present has three NDRF teams stationed permanently, of which one is in Andheri. During monsoon, additional teams are deployed in and around MMR, including in Raigad, as per the requests.

Meanwhile, the Raigad district administration on Saturday disbursed R5 lakh to the next of kin of those killed in the Tarqiue Garden building collapse. "We received the funds from the state government on Friday and requested the bank to remain open on Saturday to disburse the payment," Choudhary said. Choudhary has also appealed people from across the state and country to help Tarique Garden residents by contributing to the district relief fund till September 15. All proceeds will be given to the occupants of the collapsed building.

If you wish to donate for Raigad relief
A/c No: 38222872300
Bank: State Bank of India
IFSC Code: SBIN0000308

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First Published: 08 September, 2020 07:07 IST

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