Mega-mock drill checks state`s preparedness on calamities

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IMPHAL, March 13: Mega-mock drill is an exercise for the public to be prepared for any disaster and to minimise the casualties.

This was stated by KM Singh, a member of the National Disaster Management Authority, Government of India, at a press conference in Old Secretariat on Thursday afternoon after the end of the mega-mock drill.

KM Singh said that to help the public during any disaster, a 35 member team has been formed to be trained under National Disaster Management Force.

He said that there was a lack of co-ordination during the exercise but it might improve when the exercise is done repeatedly which would benefit people a lot, adding that this exercise needs to be done once in a year.

He further said that the state must have better equipments to face disaster which requires the state government active involvement.

The state government must also try to acquire various equipments and set up a permanent Operation Centre for the disaster and dedicated help lines through satellite for connecting officials with the public when the entire networks will crash after the disaster, he said.

If the state is properly prepared, the lost to lives and property can be brought down to the minimum level, he said.

He lauded the enthusiasm of the media fraternity, health department, fire department, police department during the mock-exercise.   

The exercise was witnessed at five selected locations each in Imphal East and Thoubal district.

In Imphal East district, mock drills were witnessed at PCTC Service Station, Kusum Oil Pump, City Convention Centre, Panchayat Bhawan, INIMS whereas in Thoubal the exercise was conducted at Thoubal market, Wangjing Bazar, Thoubal COllege, Mini Secretariat and Thoubal District Hospital.

In an interesting turn of event at one of the locations, the duty magistrates were hit by water cannon, drenching them to the bone.

At the PCTC event, two duty magistrates left the station huffing about the lack cordination among the participants.

Around 11.20am, a firetender arrived at the scene blowing horns and sprayed water oblivious of its surrounding and the duty magistrate.

Stupefied by the immediate action, the magistrates sitting on their chairs and others were unable to move out in time and got drenched.

The mock drills will be held in all North Eastern states under the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) New Delhi in coordination with various departments of the state government to check the preparedness of various agencies in case of a high magnitude earthquake and natural catastrophes. The exercise was organised to repeat the 1897 Shillong earthquake of 8.7 magnitudes under hypothetical circumstances.

Th drill started simultaneously at 11:30 am today in all state capitals and nominated district headquarters.

During the second phase today, the drill was conducted Cachar district in Assam, Mizoram, Tripura, Imphal East and Thoubal in Manipur and Nagaland, whereas the first phase on March 8 last had covered Guwahati and Jorhat in Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya and Sikkim.

Today’s drill was participated by NDMA team, district police, NCC cadets, civil defence, fire brigade, municipality councillors, NYK volunteers and college students.

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