By Our Correspondent
NAGPUR: Union Minister for Home Affairs, Amit Shah dedicated to the Nation the new campus of the National Fire Service College (NFSC) in Nagpur, on Thursday . The Home Minister presented Fire Service Gallantry Medals and awards to meritorious students of the NFSC during the event. Further, he also laid the foundation of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) Academy at Nagpur. Shah also announced Subhash Chandra Bose Award in the field of Disaster Management.
Shah paid tributes to the martyred fire services officers and talked about how Modi government has given importance to institutionalise the capacity building in the field of Fire Services and National Disaster Management by building dedicated institutions like NFSC and NDRF Academy, which have been neglected for the past 70 years.
He expressed hope that though fire services is a State subject, all States would have a better coordination with the Centre to fight fire disasters through the NFSC. The Minister added that the government has allocated over Rs. 200 crores for the modernisation of the NFSC. He talked about the short and long term courses that would be run in this institution.
The Home Minister expressed pride that due to sustained efforts of Modi government since 2016, NDRF has emerged as the leading disaster management force globally and it has achieved all benchmarks under Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction.
Shah said the Nation came a long way over the last two decades in its response to disasters and improved its capabilities in minimising losses of human lives and damage to the economy. He cited the Odisha super cyclone in 1999 in which more than 10,000 people had died, in comparison to the recent cyclone ‘Fani’ that claimed 64 lives, which reflected the huge capabilities built in Disaster Response mechanisms. In the other words, in a little over a decade, India has been able to reduce the loss of lives to less than 1% in the comparisons to that of past, he said.
Shah talked about the steps taken by Modi government for optimization of disaster management resources at the district level. He acknowledged the efforts of NDRF being the first responder during disasters in our neighbouring countries and how it is getting accolades for India from its neighbours.
Shah further said that India has become the hub for training disaster management personnel in the SAARC region and expressed hope that this will facilitate exchange of best practices and minimise the effects of disasters on the people. Further, he said that India needs to prepare itself to efficiently fight disasters and make the infrastructure disaster resilient for achieving the target of $5 trillion economy in near future.
Addressing on the occasion, Union Minister of State for Home Affairs, Nityanand Rai talked about the challenges faced by firemen during fire emergencies and how the NFSC would be an important building block in preparing able fire services personnel in the future. He detailed the steps taken by the MHA, under the leadership of Prime Minister and Home Minister, by issuing advisories to State governments for establishing efficient response mechanism during disasters and better preparing the people and service personnel, by conducting mock drills to minimise losses of life and property.
Also present on the occasion were Union Minister for Road Transport & Highways, Shipping and Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, Nitin Gadkari, along with other senior officers of Union and State governments.