NATIONAL

Specially trained Disaster Response Force to be posted at Kalpakkam

A specially trained Disaster Response Force (DRF) will be stationed permanently at Kalpakkam, according to the vice-chairman, National Disaster Management Authority, M. Shashidhar Reddy.

Disclosing this at the inauguration of a two-day workshop on Disaster Management (Nuclear and Radiological Emergencies) and mock exercise held at Anupuram, Kalpakkam, the NDMA vice-chairman said a decision to this effect was taken following the deliberations held at Tarapur Nuclear Power Station last month.

Taking part in the deliberations the participants suggested that DRFs specialised in chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) disaster emergency tackling techniques could be stationed at the nuclear installations in the country. Thus, Shashidhar Reddy said, it was decided to station specialised DRFs at Tarapur and Kalpakkam.

Stressing the need for close coordination between the agencies involved in nuclear power and other programmes and the district administrations of their respective domains during emergencies, he called upon the State governments which were yet to respond to the NDMA's call to set up State-level DRFs to expedite the process.

Speaking on the occasion, the Officer on Special Duty (Tsunami), Tamil Nadu Government, S.A. Prabhakar opined that formation of DRFs would be justified only by keeping them functional. While a presentation on operational emergency preparedness was made by the Station Director, Madras Atomic Power Plant, Kalpakkam, the District Disaster Management Authority, Kancheepuram, headed by the Collector, S. Shivashanmuga Raja, made a presentation on off-site disaster management plan on Nuclear Emergencies.

The National DRF (NDRF) battalion at Arakkonam made a brief presentation on the battalion's capacity to respond in CBRN emergencies, the Superintendent of Police, Kancheepuram Police District, S. Manoharan spoke about the role and preparedness of police, civil defence and home guards.

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