West Bengal Disaster Management Preparedness

Preparedness Status of the State

a) A state level consultative meeting use to held during last week of April before monsoon cyclone and monsoon period in order to strengthen institutionalize DM preparedness and response under chairmanship of Chief Secretary in presence of heads of the line departments working on disaster management, all District Magistrates, IMD, defence, Para-military forces, Indian Railways, etc. Update of District Disaster Management Plan and inclusion of all Line Departmental Contingency Plan in the State Disaster Management Plan, reiterate the role of each Department, flood early warning message dissemination, campaign for preparedness, cyclone early warning to the fisherman, relief materials stock etc. are discussed in the meeting. Followed by State level meeting, all the districts & Block Disaster Management Committee members would seat together at their respective level to review their preparedness and response plan.

b) Most of the emergency service providers particularly Police, Fire and Health have their own crisis management plan by which they manage emergency. Fire and Civil Defence Department are being revamped for the past three years. Both the departments of Fire & Emergency Services and Civil Defence have their respective training Institute in the State and they regularly conduct capacity building programmes for own staff members and volunteers, so that they can fight any emergency situation. The Fire & Emergency Services Department have purchased many modern types of equipment, including a sky lift, trauma care ambulance and are extending their number of support services to set up new stations. 7 platoons each were established to act as State Disaster Response Force by West Bengal Police. Kolkata Police also did the same. Both are functioning in tandem with National Disaster Response Force (NDRF). These forces are also equipped with modern equipments and are trained by the NDRF. Department of Health & Family Welfare have a strong contingency plan for flood / cyclone management up to block level having make-shift infrastructure facilities, stock of essential medicines, a tentative week-wise roster of doctors, nurses and MPHWs etc.

c) The State Emergency Operation Centre (EOC) is functioning at Nabanna fitted with moderate state of the art communication equipments. All districts have established district EOC having communication equipments with a little renovation of the existing district administrative buildings. District level EOCs have been constructed at Purulia and North 24 Parganas Collectorate. Thirteen more EOCs have been constructed at the Sub-Divisional level in different districts under GOI – UNDP Disaster Risk Reduction Programme.

d) An emergency toll free number 1077 at district level & 1070 at State level have been activated. The State EOC is operational on 24 X 7 hrs. Department of Disaster Management with the help of IT Department has developed SMS based Early Warning System to alert all the mobile users of the State of the advent of any natural calamity. This is being frequently used for other purposes too.

e) Recently Quick response team (QRT) comprising trained civil defence volunteers and vehicles fitted with necessary equipments have been kept as standalone force at District & Sub –divisional level to combat any sort of natural / manmade calamity.

f) Further, State Disaster Management Plan has been developed and updated regularly for effective response at the time of crisis. District Disaster Management Plans of all the districts have been prepared & regularly updated towards strengthening response of disaster management. These are being revised to incorporate disaster risk reduction including mitigation aspects of disaster management.

Details of search and rescue teams set up by the State Government and their deployment:

a) Status of Constitution of State Disaster Response Force:Seven Companies from West Bengal SAP Battalion and three from Kolkata Police have been working as State Disaster Response Force (SDRF). These companies of SAP Bns. are currently located at Raiganj, Barrackpore, Krishnagar, Siliguri and Barjora. Three Company strength of Disaster Management Group (DMG) of Kolkata Police has been operating in Kolkata with full equipments. Both State and Kolkata Police Search and Rescue teams have been equipped. Further fund is being provided for strengthening the teams and equipping more teams. The following table depicts the features of SDRF and DMG, Kolkata.

Date of Constitution No. of Companies No. of personnel Location Training Undergone
SDRF from West Bengal State Armed Police (SAP)
Police Order No. 16/2009 & 01/2013 dated 18.01.2013 07 Each company comprises 81 police personnel i.e. Total: 567
  • 1. SAP 4th Bn. Kasba, Raiganj
  • 2. SAP 6th Bns. Barrrackpore
  • 3. SAP 8th Bn. Barrackpore
  • 4. SAP 7th Bn. Asansol
  • 5. SAP 7th Bn. Asansol
  • 6. SAP 10th & 12th Bns. Siliguri
  • 7. SAP 13th Bn. Barjora, Bankura
The detail is given in Annexure – I
Disaster Management Group under Kolkata Police
  • 1. Water Wing
  • 2. CSSSR & MFR Wing
  • 3. Tree Cutting Team
Inspector – 01, Subedar – 02, ASI – 03, Sepoy – 78, HG – 65, GP – 27
Total - 176
Police Training School (PTS) 247 AJC Bose Road, Kolkata - 7000278 The detail is given in Annexure – II

Annexture: I

List of following strength of Disaster Management Police personnel who are undergoing training of various Disaster Management Courses
    Unit Training. Place Inspr. SI ASI Const.
1st Squad SAP 6th Bn &Barrackpore CSSR &MFR CSSR &MFR 01(SSF Bn.) 01(SSF Bn.) 01 29
  SSF Bn., Barrackpore Deep Diving Sea Explorers Institute Outram Ghat,Kolkata Nil. Nil. 10
2nd Squad SAP 8th Bn, Barrackpore Deep diving (is running w.e.f. 25.11.13 to 04.01.14 Sea Explorers Institute Outram Ghat,Kolkata Nil Nil Nil 20
CSSR(is running w.e.f 02.12.13 to 28.12.13) 2nd Bn. NDRF Nil 1 2 20
NDRF MFR(is running w.e.f 02.12.13 to 28.12.13) 2nd Bn. Nil 1 2 10
High Rise Building (is running w.e.f. 02.12.13 to 28.12.13) 2nd Bn. NDRF Nil Nil 2 10
3rd Squad SAP 9th Bn, Sandhya, Krishnagar CSSR 2nd Bn. NDRF To be commenced on & from 02.01.14 to 31.01.14
MFR 2nd Bn. NDRF
High Rise Building 2nd Bn. NDRF
Deep Diving Sea Explorers Institute Outram Ghat, Kolkata Nil

Annexture: II

DMG Training

Disaster Management Group of Kolkata Police underwent the following trainings:

  1. 43 police personnel have undergone training twice from NDRF in regard to CSSR & MFR.
  2. 43 police personnel have undergone training twice from NISA / FSTI twice in regard to CSSR & MFR, Fire Fighting and Rope Rescue Operation.
  3. 15 police personnel have undergone training from NCDC, Nagpur in regard to Chemical Disaster.
  4. 2 police personnel have undergone training from NIRD, Patna in regard to community based Disaster Management
  5. 38 police personnel have undergone training from Indian Life Saving Society, Rabindra Sarobar in regard to Life saving in water.
  6. 22 police personnel have undergone training from Sea Explorers Institute Subhas Sarobar, Beliaghata in regard to Under Water Diving
  7. 38 police personnel have undergone training from Civil Defence, Government of West Bengal in regard to Handling of Inflated Rubber Boat
  8. 42 police personnel have undergone training from Himalayan Mountaineering Institute (HMI) Darjeeling in regard to Rock Climbing.
  9. Training on Psychosocial Issues in Disaster Management at ATI, Saltlake
  10. Training Course on Incident Response System(Basic Intermediate)at ATI, Saltlake

Organization of Mock Drill:

Mock drills are very important for verifying the viability of the disaster management plans prepared at all administrative levels. To test the implementabilty of disaster management plan, the Department of Disaster Management organized many mock drills in collaboration with National Disaster Response Force, the General Officer Commanding Bengal Area, Fort William and Corporate houses. In addition, Kolkata Police along with Public and private schools jointly conducted number of fire fighting drills in Kolkata Municipal Areas. Few instances are given below:

Community Awareness and Mock Exercise and Preparedness programme by NDRF

Sr. No. Location (District) Proposed duration Types of Exercise Search & Exercise (SAR)
01 Kalimpong (Dist: Darjeeling) 19 April – 03 May, 2012 SAR in Earthquake / Landslidek
02 Durgapur (Bardhaman) 02 – 16 May 2012 SAR in Chemical Hazard / flood
03 Dakshin Dinajpur and Maldah 25 July – 09 August, 2012 SAR in Cyclone / Flood
04 North 24 Parganas 30 August – 13 September, 2012 SAR in Flood
05 Gangasagar (Dist: South 24 Parganas ) 15- 25 June 2012
09 – 13 Jan. 2013
SAR in Cyclone / Flood
06 Raignaj (Uttar Dinajpuur) 30 Jan – 13 Feb, 2013 30 Jan – 13 Feb, 2013
07 Alipurduar 24 Nov. – 08 Dec. 2012 SAR in Earthquake / Landslide
08 SAR in Earthquake / Landslide 20 -25 July 2012 SAR for Nuclear Biological and Chemical