Not just monsoon, BMC prepares for disaster all through the year

Published: 31 October, 2013 08:53 IST | Chetna Sadadekar |

Civic body has stationed three teams of the National Disaster Response Force in Mumbai for the entire year, to cope with emergency situations

Authorities at the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) are leaving no stone unturned to ensure that the city has all the resources it needs, in case of an emergency. In the wake of the several building collapses and other emergency situations that may arise, the BMC has roped in two teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) permanently.

Here to help: NDRF commandoes help out with rescue operations after the Dockyard building collapse last month. Pic/Suresh KK

BMC has limited resources for disaster management, with the Fire department working during times of need. But with the addition of the NDRF, there will be more hands to help out during the crisis situations.  The force came to be placed in the city after the 2005 floods, and since then, they are in the city during the four months of monsoon. 

This year, they stayed back for longer this year, after officials requested an extension. They were stationed at Andheri Sports Complex during the rainy season, and are still there. But now, the NDRF commandos will be on call 365 days a year and will be provided with permanent residences at Borivli and Mankhurd soon. Their base camp in the city is under construction.

The three groups, comprising 45 commandos, will go abouttheir daily routine of exercises and drills at their respective centres that are being built for them. While the BMC will be investing in their accommodation, their daily schedules will be taken care of by the NDRF themselves.

Alok Avasthi, commandant of NDRF, who is currently at Andheri Sports Complex, said, “The BMC has promised us that we will soon be placed permanently in the city. We will also train various NGOs and social working units on how to fight disasters like floods, collapses, major fires, or accidents. Our daily chores and physical training will be done at the accommodation centres that have been shown to us. We have asked the BMC to make some alterations, and we believe it is being done.”

Mahesh Narvekar, head of the disaster management cell, BMC, said, “Work is going on to station the NDRF teams in Mumbai. This was done to strengthen the city’s disaster management team and to have easy accessibility to these commandos, in case of calamities, as they have been of great help to our fire department during the several building collapses that took place this year.”

Another BMC official said, “We have consulted with the NDRF. Places at Borivli and Mankhurd are being developed -- rooms and pantries will be made the way they want them to be made. We will complete this work within five months. After the NDRF teams move in to these quarters, their personnel will be available to the corporation whenever needed.” 

No of NDRF commandoes that will be stationed in the city to help during emergencies

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