Following a direction from the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), the State government will set up a State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) on the lines of the force at the national level.

Four companies comprising 480 personnel in the 25-40 age group drawn from the Fire and Emergency Services and the Police departments, Defence and the Central Industrial Security Force, would be trained in handling disasters, said Tushar Girinath, Revenue Secretary and chief of Karnataka Disaster Management Authority.

Noting that the State government had allotted a two-acre plot at Yelahanka in Bangalore to house the SDRF battalion, he said that one company each would be deployed in Bangalore, Gulbarga, Mangalore and Belgaum.

SDRF is a specialised response force that would react to both natural and man-made disasters in the shortest time. The security mechanism of the kind is in place in Odisha, West Bengal, Assam and Maharashtra, he said.

While the Union government would contribute 75 per cent of the funds needed for raising the SDRF, the State would bear the balance.

The Karnataka Disaster Management Authority had released Rs. 7.50 crore for the SDRF to procure equipment and Rs. 4.50 crore for training personnel recruited for the force. “The SDRF personnel will be trained to tackle terrorist, biological and nuclear threats and natural disasters,” Mr. Girinath said.

Noting that the Union government had released only Rs. 188 crore for the disaster management fund, he said that the State government had sought Rs. 500 crore.

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