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Achievements of Department of Disaster Mangment & Civil Defence

Building Stronger Disaster Response system by amalgamating three Departments under one umbrella: In 2011, the Government emphasized in the first Cabinet meeting to accord high priority to disaster management and to achieve this brought, three Departments of Disaster Management; Fire and Emergency Services; and Civil Defence under one Minister so that it becomes easy for MIC to effectively coordinate in crisis and ensure holistic diaster management.

The State Emergency Opeartion Centre is now running in the Writers’ Builings 24X7 on all days of the year with staff from Departments of Civil Defence and Disaster Management.

SMS based Early Warning System: Developed SMS based Early Warning System thorugh the IT Department for alerting all the mobile users in the districts of the State of the advent of natural calamities like tropical cyclone, tsunami, earthquake, etc. Early Warning SMS service for the government officials at State, district and block level are operational and is being frequently used for other purposes also.

New tendering and checking of relief materials by third party: The present Government particularly Hon’ble Chief Minister has laid emphasis upon the quality of relief clothing. Accordingly new system of procurement & relief clothing has been introduced. An expert committee comprising representatives from all related Departments (GoWB & GOI) has been formed to determine the specifications of relief clothing. Third party checking of relief clothing has successfully done by Indian Jute Industries Research Association [IJIRA]. As a result the quality of relief clothing has been enhanced and has been widely appreciated.

State Disaster Response Force: Four Platoons from West Bengal Armed Battalion and three Companies in Kolkata Police have been formed and already started functioning as State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) in tandem with National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) . The four platoons of SAP Bns. of the State Police having adequate equipments are currently strategically located at Asansol, Barrackpore, Siliguri & Raiganj to combat any major disaster in the vicinity. Three Company strength of Disaster Management Group has been set up and trained in Kolkata Police with full equipments.

Quick Response Team (QRT): In addition to on call civil defence volunteers at the time of any emergency; the State is setting up quick response team (QRT) for all the districts in 2012 - 13. The team comprising 25 civil defence volunteers would always be at the disposable of District Magistrates 24X7X365 days. The personnel would be equipped and trained to discharge duties during any types of emergency. Each district would also have Emergency Resource Vehicles with necessary equipments.

Training: The Department of Disaster Management conducted training of District Youth Volunteers in Flood Relief & Rescue Management in collaboration with Rashtriya Life Saving

Society (India) – Eastern India Head Quarter. 652 volunteers of seven districts viz. Cooch Behar, Murshidabad, Purba Medinipur, South 24 Parganas, Hooghly, Nadia, North 24 Parganas districts have been undertaken this training courses till 31st March, 2013.

Awareness Campaign though IEC materials: One lakh each English & Bengali calendars comprising do’s and don'ts on Flood, Cyclone, Earthquake and Landslide have been printed and distributed to districts, block and Panchayat officials. Similarly, thousands of Bengali & English leaflets comprising history of Department of Disaster Management in West Bengal were developed and circulated among the community at a large. Wall Writing and banners containing ‘dos’ and ‘don’ts’ messages on various natural hazards @150 each has been completed in all districts as well. Jingles & spots for spreading awareness messages with regard to earthquake, cyclone & flood for targeting both rural & urban residents for dissemination through electronic media have been developed and aired and displayed through various electronics media.

A disaster management stall is showcased for 5 days and sometimes for the whole month on the occasion of various fair (Mela) like Ganga Sagar Mela, district fair and also local fair in collaboration with Civil Defence, Fire Services and local NGOs.

A Bengali film “Chitto Jetha Bhoy Shunyo” (where the mind is without fear) of 40 minutes which tells shocking story of individual and family and also the coping capacity of all stakeholders particularly family, community and Panchayats during & after cyclone Aila. It also illustrates use of life support skills and community & family level preparedness. Display of this film has been organized in the remotest villages of South 24 Parganas.

The History of Disasters in West Bengal since Independence has been compiled by the Department of Disaster Management in collaboration with Presidency University.

Integrated Coastal Zone Management Project (ICZMP): Hon’ble Chief Minister has laid the foundation stones of 25 multipurpose cyclone shelters in the districts of South 24 Parganas. The construction will start very soon.

Construction of Cyclone Shelters under PMNRF: 50 Cyclone shelters are being constructed out of funds provided by Priminister National Relief Fund (PMNRF) in Aila affected South 24 Pgs; North 24 Pgs and Purba Medinipur. Several of these just have been completed; the rest will completed by December 2013.

Cyclone Shelters under National Cyclone Risk Mitigation programme (NCRMP): 150 Cyclone shelters are proposed to be constructed under World Bank assisted NCRMP in Coastal districts. MHA has already given approval for the same. The total project cost is approx. 550 crores.

Jobs of AMRI Fire Victims: The family members of victims have been offered Government jobs in addition to Rupees three lakh given to each of 93 family members of deceased family of AMRI Fire.