Government brought drastic changes in disaster management: Rajnath

New Delhi:  The Narendra Modi government brought a drastic change in its approach to disaster management from a relief-centric to a holistic and integrated coverage, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh said on Monday. Singh said the National Institute of Disaster Management (NIDM) has been entrusted with the responsibility of human resource development, capacity-building that includes training and education, research, documentation and policy planning in the field of disaster management. He was addressing members of the Consultative Committee of Parliament attached to the Ministry of Home Affairs. Official sources said the government's new approach on disaster-related works now will include prevention, mitigation, preparedness, response, relief, reconstruction and rehabilitation of victims/survivors of both man-made and natural disasters. The development cannot be sustainable unless disaster mitigation is built in the development process, he said. The minister said the government had in February announced setting up within two years of a southern campus of NIDM in Andhra Pradesh at a cost of Rs 70.87 crore. He also appreciated the work of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and added that 12 battalions of NDRF officials and personnel are at present deployed in various parts of the country. They (NDRF) assist the state governments "as and when required". "The NDRF has emerged as a visible, vibrant, multi-skilled, hi-tech and stand-alone force, capable of dealing with all types of natural and man-made disasters," he said. The ministry sanctioned Rs 882.24 crore last year for raising office buildings, training infrastructure and residential buildings at the locations of 10 battalions and 10 team/companies.  Besides Singh, Ministers of State for Home Affairs Haribhai Parathibhai Chaudhary and Kiren Rijiju and Home Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi were also present.