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Sansad TV: National Security- The National Disaster Response Force

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Introduction:

The NDRF is the prime body that executes rescue and rehabilitation operations in natural calamities like floods, cyclones, structure collapse, and earthquakes, across India. It is an organisation of officers and personnel, who have dedicated themselves to serve the country and whose relentless efforts save hundreds of precious lives put in harm’s way by the vagaries of nature. Over the years, the NDRF has modernised itself with many effective protocols and upgraded Standard Operating Procedures. In addition, the NDRF has adjusted to the unique challenges of cyclones, floods, and other such disasters, in a multi-disaster-prone country like India. NDRF today is a unique and distinguished Force that operates across the country under the Ministry of Home Affairs. It is headed by an IPS officer and consists of battalions from the BSF, CISF, CRPF, ITBP, SSB and Assam Rifles.

  • The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) is a specialised force constituted “for the purpose of specialist response to a threatening disaster situation or disaster” under the Disaster Management Act, 2005.
  • The “Apex Body for Disaster Management” in India is the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA). The Chairman of the NDMA is the Prime Minister.
  • At present, National Disaster Response Force consists of 12 battalions, three each from the BSF and CRPF and two each from CISF, ITBP and SSB.
  • Each battalion have 18 self-contained specialist search and rescue teams of 45 personnel each including engineers, technicians, electricians, dog squads and medical/paramedics. The total strength of each battalion is 1,149.
  • All the 12 battalions have been equipped and trained to respond natural as well as man-made disasters. Battalions are also trained and equipped for response during chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) emergencies.

Objectives of NDRF:

  • To fight all natural disasters including radiological, biological, chemical and nuclear disasters.
  • Conduct search and rescue operations in the event of any natural catastrophe.

Role of NDRF:

Pre-disaster:

  • Will impart disaster management training to local police, administration, local bodies and other stake holders.
  • Will organize community awareness and preparedness programme during familiarization and recce of vulnerable areas in the Area of Responsibility.
  • Will impart training to teachers and school children in the management of natural disasters.

During-disaster:

  • Pro-active deployment at level-III disaster.
  • Provide hi-tech specialist response during search and rescue operations.
  • Provide immediate relief with available men and material in the affected areas.

Post-disaster:

  • To assist states in recovery and maintenance of normalcy at the areas of disaster.

Conclusion:

  • Since its inception NDRF has continued to win hearts of millions of countrymen, by demonstrating its expertise and compassion while handling disaster situations.
  • The list of such challenges is long. The practice of “proactive availability”of this Force to the States and that of “pre-positioning”, in a threatening disaster situations have immensely helped minimise damage, caused due to natural calamities in the country.