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Workshop on earthquake, landslides begins at MU

Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, April 09 2016: Three days workshop on 'Earthquake and Landslide: Challenges of Disaster Management in Four North Eastern States (Manipur, Mizoram, Meghalaya and Nagaland) was inaugurated today at the Court Hall, MU. The workshop is being held under the aegis of Disaster Research Programme, JNU, New Delhi, Manipur University, Imphal, National Institute of Disaster Management, New Delhi and State Disaster Management Authority, Manipur. At session-I of day one of the three day long workshop, former Additional Chief Secretary, Kerala, Dr Nivedita P Haran presided as the chairperson/ interrogator while Prof Krishna Shreshtha of Nepal, Kh Siile of NEC, Jason Shimray representative of State Disaster Management Authority (SMDA), Zothansanga Hmar of Mizoram SMDA, PP Shrivastav former member of NEC, Col Jaydip Chandrakant Hajarnis, Commanding Officer of 2 AR and Commander RK Saha of Border Road Organisation were the responders. In the session, law and order, Disaster Management Act 2005 was deliberated by the responders and shared their experiences. Addressing the session, Jason Shimray stated that earthquake in the State had taken lives causing extensive damages in Thoubal and Chandel districts earlier. He added that such natural calamities also caused extensive damages to property leading to economic losses. Referring to the history of disasters he stated that from 1996 to 2000 India incurred huge losses. Further he talked about the administrative set of District Management in the States elaborating on the structure of it. Strengthening local authorities and administrations can help in coping with natural disasters. Mass awareness programme for villagers with important focus on grass root level planning should be encouraged. At present, there is no strong policy for disaster management due to constraint in funding and resources, he added. Kh Siile stated that there is no back-up plan or policy for the North Eastern States to cope with natural disasters such as earthquake, landslides or flood. Centres responses system should be fully implemented besides purchasing of equipment, he added. The North Eastern States are among the 6th most disaster prone areas of the world and to tackle and avoid such natural calamities early warning systems must be develo- ped, stated PP Shrivastav. Recollecting the step taken up under FLEWS (Flood Early Warning systems) he stated that people need to be informed beforehand to avoid extensive casualties. "We have to devise ways as earthquakes don't kill, earthquakes create conditions where man-made structures kill people," he added. Involvement of community is the first step possible, he suggested and said that academicians who have the knowledge and the energy can be channelized into bringing the change through students. Col Jaydip Chandrakant Jajarnis elaborated on the steps taken up by the armed forces in times of natural calamities and disaster. Recoun- ting the recent earthquake of January 4 and flood in Thoubal district, he highlighted measures and mechanism for combating such incidents and cases. He suggested that socially active clubs of the State should be clubbed by the SMDA and provides basic training to tackle natural disasters. In the evening session vice chancellor of Manipur University HNK Sarma stated that due to earthquakes and landslides many damages have been caused. There is a need of collective information which can be introduced through infrastructure and eliminate levels of vulnerability. Manipur University has focused on ground level realities.