The Government was also providing a grant of Rs. 5 crore every year towards capacity building in disaster prevention and management.

The 13 Finance Commission has recommended Rs. 1,621.90 crore for the State Disaster Response Fund for five years from 2010-2011 to 2014-2015. The fund for the current fiscal is Rs. 339.79 crore, Babu Deva Irakkam, Project Officer, Government of India-UNDP Disaster Risk Reduction Programme, Tiruchi, has said.

Addressing a programme on disaster risk reduction here on Friday, Mr. Babu said that the fund that was earlier called Calamity Relief Fund has been renamed after the implementation of National Disaster Management Act, 2005.

The Government was also providing a grant of Rs. 5 crore every year towards capacity building in disaster prevention and management.

The Government has incorporated a major change in disaster management from the post-disaster relief and reconstruction-based management to pre-disaster proactive prevention, mitigation and preparedness-driven approach. As part of the approach, much focus was now given to mapping of vulnerable areas, capacity building, consolidation of past initiatives and best practices and closer cooperation with national and international agencies.

Mock drill and training were important aspects to create awareness on various kinds of disaster so that people could try to safeguard themselves during emergency situations. Alternative mode of communication that could be relied upon during disaster should be kept ready.

Corporation Assistant Commissioner, A. Devadoss, who inaugurated the programme said coordination from all departments and voluntary organisations would help mitigate impact of disasters.

M. Balasubramanian, Additional Divisional Fire Officer, said that same areas, like Sellur, in the city were getting inundated during every flood. Preventive measures like construction of protection wall could safeguard the people of those areas. He also wanted desilting of drainages before the onset of monsoon.

A team of swimmers could be kept ready to rescue the people in distress, he added.

Agricultural Officer Valarmathi wanted the channels to be kept free of garbage and solid waste so that the channels do not get choked during flood. Similarly, temporary encroachments along the channels should be removed.

S. Vanitha, Project Officer, GoI-UNDP Disaster Risk Reduction Programme, Madurai, was present.

More In: Madurai