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Hub to cut losses in calamities

An early morning squall claimed eight lives across the state on May 31, uprooted several tress and electric polls

Children of a prominent pre-school had a narrow escape when an adjoining godown caught fire in Bariatu, Ranchi, in the first week of April

Four persons were drowned, while then tourism secretary Sajal Chakraborty had a narrow escape when a motorboat capsized in Ranchi Lake in December last year

In the wake of numerous calamities, both natural and unnatural, the disaster management department has decided to set up a State Emergency Operation Centre (SEOC) in the capital to minimise the impact of these incidents and reduce loss of lives and property.

The state-of-the-art building will house various wings involved in emergency support functions so as to ensure prompt and timely action in case of any calamity across Jharkhand.

Equipped with latest technologies, the building will be designed using modern concepts to withstand earthquake, cyclone, hailstorm, fire etc.

According to sources, the department is in the process of identifying a plot for the proposed centre.

Colonel Sanjay Srivastava, the state disaster management specialist of the department, said Jharkhand needed an emergency centre at the earliest.

“It is being conceptualised as a centre of coordination for better management of all types of disasters. It will receive information from multiple sources and analyse it for better preparedness and rescue operations,” he said.

There is no technology, as of now, to prevent natural calamities. Also, it will take a lot of time and money to restructure urban and rural areas to avoid nature’s fury. “However, we can take some steps to prepare ourselves to face calamities more effectively, reducing their effect on human life,” he added.

Elaborating on the plan, he said the building would be connected to all district headquarters, police and fire stations through phones and the Internet. It will also keep in touch with Indian Meteorological Department and Indian Remote Sensing Department and other important sources to receive early warnings. Accordingly, it will take adequate preventive measures. There will be specialised wings, each comprising five persons, to tackle different types of incidents.

While Jharkhand is indeed a disaster-prone state where drought, lightning, forest fire, cyclone and floods take place quite regularly, unnatural incidents, like fire, drowning, road accidents have also been claiming a number of lives across the districts.

“Most of these accidents can be avoided by effective monitoring, strict implementation of rules and proper awareness. In many cases, the losses can be reduced if response time is minimised, which requires better coordination and cooperation among departments,” Srivastava said.

The department is now looking to hire an agency, which will prepare the detailed project report (DPR), most likely by the end of this month. “Once the DPR is approved, construction of the building will start,” he added.


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