Uttarakhand to rope in scientific experts for disaster management

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Uttarakhand state government is set to rope in scientific experts into the State Disaster Management Authority (SDMA), the apex body for disaster management, in order to revamp the hill state’s response to natural disasters.

In principle agreement has been made to strengthen the structure of the SDMA, under which representatives of expert scientific institutions will be inducted as special invitee members. The proposal for organisational restructuring will soon be placed before the state cabinet, according to officials.

“The aim is to get the best scientific knowledge because we remain limited to the traditional methods of dealing with disaster management which include rescue, relief and rehabilitation,” State Disaster Management Secretary Amit Negi said.

“By roping in scientific experts, we will be able to harness our technical know-how and related techniques to better our response to disasters,” he said.

Underlining how climate change was inducing disasters in the hill state, Negi said, “Through the new organisational structure (which will include scientists), we’d be able to carry out crucial studies like those of the river basins, chronic landslide zones, changes in meteorological patterns and forecasting among others, which will have a far-reaching impact on the way disasters are dealt with in the state.”