Disaster scenarios simulated to assess preparedness along the base camps
The Hush Post: The National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) conducted mock exercises at Baltal and Pahalgam base camps from June 22 to June 25 to assess the preparedness and response mechanism of all the stakeholders involved in the management of the upcoming Amarnath Yatra. Mock exercises were conducted at critical areas along the Baltal and the Pahalgam-Chandanwari routes covering both natural as well as man-made disasters.
NDMA experts trained the participants on key aspects of disaster management such as the formation of Incident Response Teams, coordination among various participating agencies, evacuation, medical preparedness and trauma counselling. “This exercise aims at enhancing the preparedness of officials of the Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board (SASB), district administration and other key Government agencies to deal with any disaster during the Yatra,” said Lt. Gen. N. C. Marwah (Retd.), Member, NDMA.
Both the mock exercises began with a Co-ordination Conference on Day 1 followed by a Table-top Exercise on Day 2. Senior officials from all the important departments such as the SASB, the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), the State Disaster Response Force (SDRF), the Rashtriya Rifles, the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), Army, police, health, Civil Defence, transport, fire and other emergency services attended these preparatory meetings and participated in the mock exercises.
After the drills, post-exercise analyses were carried out by the NDMA experts in which they discussed the entire operation and underlined areas that needed improvement. “Better coordination among various agencies is of utmost importance and often the key to a successful post-disaster response,” said Lt. Gen. Marwah (Retd.).
The annual Amarnath Yatra to the cave shrine in South Kashmir will begin from June 28.
The NDMA regularly conducts such mock exercises throughout the country in its efforts to improve preparedness and response mechanisms for various disasters. Earlier in June, it conducted a mock exercise on flood preparedness across 23 districts in Uttar Pradesh.