Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami on Tuesday said disasters cannot be stopped but their impact can be reduced by advance preparedness and asserted that "proactive approach" is the only way to deal with them.
Addressing the inaugural session of the 6th World Congress on Disaster Management here, Dhami also said that to minimise the impact of natural disasters, better strategies will have to be prepared and implemented. "There is only one way to deal with disasters and that is a proactive approach under which preparations should be made in advance for disaster reduction," he said.
Disasters cannot be prevented but if preparation is done beforehand then their impact can be reduced, he said. The chief minister also underlined the need to create a better disaster management system with "coordination of ecology, economy and technology".
He also stressed the need for integrating all responses during disasters, saying uniformity of response can reduce both damage and loss of life. Dhami said medical facilities are being ramped up in Uttarakhand, strong communication system is being put in place and all-weather roads are being built in preparation for better disaster management in the state.
"We are becoming better prepared to face disasters," he said. In Sanatan culture, the earth is considered like a mother and in this lies the basic spirit of disaster management, Dhami said. "If all the natural resources we have on the earth are used instead of being consumed, then alone we will move towards success in disaster reduction in the true sense of the term through conservation and promotion of nature," he said.
There could not have been a better place than Uttarakhand to organise this conference because there has been a symbiosis in nature with mankind here for centuries, Dhami said, adding the state has been the cradle of research, spiritual practice, knowledge, spirituality and science since ancient times. "From Adi Guru Shankaracharya ji, Swami Vivekananda ji to Gurudev Ravindra Nath Tagore, many visionaries definitely visit the Himalayas and especially Uttarakhand somewhere in their spiritual journey," he said.
Describing Uttarakhand as very sensitive to natural disasters, Dhami said that every year "we have to face disasters somewhere in the form of landslides, snowfall, heavy rains or floods". In this regard, he also mentioned the Kedarnath tragedy, landslide from Varunavat mountain in Uttarkashi and rainy disaster. The CM said the primary objective of this conference is to discuss and find solutions to the challenges of climate change and disaster resilience with the focus on the Himalayan ecosystem and communities.
Representatives of more than 50 countries are participating in the international conference. Dhami expressed hope that the experts from India and abroad gathered in this four-day international conference will think in this direction and reach such conclusions which will prove effective in dealing with these challenges. He said that by releasing the findings here in the form of 'Dehradun Declaration', a special message will be given to the world.
"This will be an important document and I am confident that it will prove to be important in disaster management all over the world," Dhami said. Referring to the Centre's proposal to open a big disaster management institute in Uttarakhand, the chief minister said that efforts will be made to arrange land for this and take it forward immediately. Dhami also released a book, titled "Resilient India: How Prime Minister Narendra Modi Changed India's Disaster Management Model", based on the experiences of Modi.
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