The Delhi Chief Minister, Sheila Dikshit, called for mapping of Delhi’s most vulnerable areas to tackle any kind of emergent situation arising from a natural disaster. She also urged the various civic agencies and government bodies to launch an awareness campaign among the citizens on how to react to such situations and ways to mitigate the impact of such a mishap.
Speaking at the inaugural function of the sensitisation workshop for policy makers organised by the Disaster Management Authority of the Delhi Government, the Chief Minister said that the degree of risk and extent of destruction in the event of an earthquake was different for different localities based on factors like concentration of population, strength and quality of buildings including availability of open space in and around localities. Such mapping would provide the Government with relevant data and parameters to provide specific information to the citizens about the mitigation process in accordance with the needs of the particular area. As assessment of vulnerabilities would help evolve specific response to them and help in putting in place a more rational and effective disaster management plan.
The workshop had been organised to sensitise the Ministers, Members of Parliament, MLAs and bureaucrats on the issue of disaster management. However, it evoked a poor response from the elected representatives as very few MLAs reached the venue of the function to have an insight into the issue of disaster management.
The Chief Minister also asked the experts to guide the government regarding specific legislations pertaining to safety measures, building by-laws that need to be put in place for successful implementation of a comprehensive disaster management plan. Ms. Dikshit also stressed upon the need to evolve a unified coordination mechanism in the shape of a control room that could oversee and formulate a disaster management plan by overcoming the multiplicity of authority that was prevalent in the city. The experts Prof. A.S. Arya, Seismic Advisor, Ministry of Home Affairs, and Prof. C.V.R. Murthy from IIT, Kanpur, made presentations with regard to the steps to be taken for disaster management and need to make the civic agencies more responsible and accountable with regard to various issues.