A special unit from the Arakkonam-based battalion of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) reached the State capital on Monday to help tackle sea erosion and tidal wave attack on the coastal belt here.

The unit, a 24-member contingent led by Commandant M.K. Verma will include an Assistant Commandant, four team commanders, and 18 personnel. During the three-day visit to the city, the team is slated to visit affected areas, make assessments, consult with the police, revenue and other officials, and chart out an action plan that the district administration can put in place in times of such crisis to launch effective rescue/evacuation missions and to be prepared in the event of similar natural calamities, apart from advising an awareness creation campaign as well.

The visit of the NDRF team comes on the heels of discussions initiated by Union Minister of State for Human Resources Development Shashi Tharoor with Union Minister of State for Home R.P.N. Singh and National Disaster Management Authority vice-chairman M. Shashidhar Reddy.

Mr. Tharoor, who had earlier held talks with Revenue Minister Adoor Prakash and District Collector K.N. Satheesh had also taken up the issue of including sea erosions and tidal wave attacks under disasters for which Central assistance is available. A request has been made to the NDMA to include these on the list of calamities for which Central funds are sanctioned, according to a communiqué from Mr. Tharoor’s office here.

The NDRF is a national-level para-military agency constituted in 2006 following the enactment of the Disaster Management Act, 2005 with the objective of meeting man-made or natural disasters in any part of the country.

Long-term plan

“The visit of the NDRF unit is not just to enhance the relief works being undertaken by the State government to meet the existing crisis, but also to put in motion a long-term plan to increase preparedness and work out ways to meet this recurring crisis in the city’s coastal areas,” the press release said.