Only 15 states have so far set up their own respective State Disaster Response Force following direction from the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) earlier this year.

Only 15 states have so far set up their respective state dedicated forces meant for immediate response to disaster and also involve in community capacity building and creating awareness on the need to observe and follow safety guidelines, NDMA member K.M. Singh said in Shillong.

“We had been advocating for the setting up of the state disaster response force by all state governments to tackle emergency situations in line with the NDRF,” Mr. Singh said while addressing a conference on safe management of chemical petroleum and petrochemical industries.

Meghalaya Chief Minister Mukul Sangma informed that the state government would soon set up the state disaster response force as mandated by the NDMA.

“You reminded me that we need to move faster and ensure that it is put in place at the earliest,” Mukul said, while apologising for the delay.

The NDMA member informed that the Centre has sanctioned the setting up of yet another battalion of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) in the North East, preferably in Upper Assam.

A battalion of the NDRF in Guwahati is the only one looking after for the whole region, he said adding that one more battalion is likely to be set up in Upper Assam or Silchar wherever land is given.

Mr. Singh said the NDMA is also keen to set up at least one company of the NDRF in each of the NE states provided the governments provide land for them.

He said the country had recorded 1861 major hazardous accidents in 26 states in the country, adding that in the North East region, Meghalaya, Assam, Manipur, Nagaland and Tripura have very high vulnerability to natural disasters and being located in the highly seismological active zone.