The absence of a well-developed Incident Command System (ICS) to deal with disasters was strongly felt during the recent air crash here.

The ICS ensures professional handling of disasters with the help of trained personnel under a single commander.

First developed in the U.S. to deal with massive wildfires in California in the 1970s, this has since been modified and tested in the aftermath of 9/11 and accepted by countries such as Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. SAARC and ASEAN countries are said to be considering its adoption.

Widely discussed at the second India Disaster Management Congress held between November 4 and 6 last year, the need for moving rapidly towards institutionalisation of the ICS with changes required in the Indian context was stressed. .

The 56-page National Policy on Disaster Management, approved on October 22, 2009, does not expressly speak of setting up a separate ICS for the country.

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