The Telegraph
Friday , December 7 , 2012
Since 1st March, 1999
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Cells for quick crisis response

The response time to any exigency would come down significantly soon. Emergency centres, to be constituted in every district headquarters, would make it possible through better communication between different departments.

The decision to set up the emergency centres has been taken in the wake of the stampede at Adalat Ghat that claimed 17 lives on November 19 and the victims’ kin accusing the district administration of lack of timely action. The first exigency hub would come up in Patna.

“The department is working on a short-term and a long-term plan. The first includes setting up of an emergency operational centre (EOC) in every district police control room. It will function parallel to the police to procure data about natural and man-made disasters and act accordingly. Hopefully by early next year, there will be an EOC functioning alongside the district police control room in Patna,” an officer of the department told The Telegraph.

The Patna police control room is located at the city police headquarters near Gandhi Maidan. Likewise, all the districts of the state have their respective district headquarters, which house the control room as well as the office of the senior superintendent of police, deputy superintendents of police, deputy inspector-general and others.

“The department has got an emergency number (1070) on which people can alert its officials in case of any emergency but the number needs to be publicised. The centre will have better communication system in terms of phones and would have Net-enabled computers. The headquarters in Patna has a satellite phone too. With all equipment in place, co-ordination would be smoother. The communication has to be very fast so that the response is immediate,” the officer said.

“Four well-trained persons will man each EOC. Their selection process is being discussed now,” another officer said.

Film fest

Bihar State Disaster Management Authority organised a two-day film festival, Spandan 2012, to sensitise people about all aspect of disasters.

Anil Kumar Sinha, the vice-chairman of BSDMA, said: “The effects of disasters can be minimised if people know the basic things they need to do at that point of time. When disaster strikes, most people panic and start running instead of taking measures to minimise its effect.”

Lauding the fest, industries minister Renu Kumari Kushwaha said: “In the past five years, the BSDMA has been spreading awareness on how to tackle disasters in schools and colleges.”