A seminar on “Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief” was held at College of Defence Management in Secunderabad Cantonment today. The seminar is part of two-day exercise “Pralay Sahayam”, a conceptualized as a Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) exercise that provides a common platform for all agencies involved in search, rescue and relief operations during natural disasters, to interact and evolve a seamless and optimized Disaster Management Strategy.
Shri Kiren Rijiju, Minister of State for Home Affairs was the Chief Guest on the occasion and delivered the inaugural address. He commended the role of Armed Forces in Disaster Management and highlighted the challenges faced by Southern Command in addressing natural disasters. Disaster resilience is the collective responsibility of all stakeholders, including Government, Business communities, Non-government sectors and the individual, he added.
Earlier, Lieutenant General PM Hariz, General Officer Commanding in Chief (GOC-in-C) Southern Command opened the seminar. In his welcome address, the General Officer said that the Exercise Pralay Sahayam is a major milestone in that direction and Hyderabad has been chosen to draw out certain lessons and to suggest best suited measures to enhance our operational preparedness for Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) Operations.
Shri Mohammad Mahmood Ali, Deputy Chief Minister, Telangana State, welcomed all participants to the Seminar and emphasized the significance of addressing disasters on priority.
The seminar comprised of plenary session one on ‘Disaster Management Integrated Response Strategy and Role of Armed Forces’ and plenary session two on ‘Urban Floods: Challenges and Response’. The plenary session one was conducted as a panel discussion covering the efforts and endeavors undertaken at the strategic level towards Disaster Risk Reduction, Mitigation and Capacity Building. The esteemed panelist for this session included Lieutenant General NC Marwah (Retd), Member National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), Lieutenant General PR Kumar (Retd) and Shri RK Singh, National Institute of Disaster Management (NIDM) who spoke on ‘National Perspective on Disaster Management’ & ‘Role of Defense Forces in Disaster Management and Urban Flooding’ and carried out an appraisal of Disaster Management in states. The plenary session two was dedicated to discussions on ‘Disaster Management Plans at the State Level’, particularly in response to urban flooding. The panelist for this session included Lieutenant General Jagbir Singh (Retd) former General Officer Commanding, Dakshin Bharat Area (who was involved in relief operations during the 2015 Chennai floods), Shri BR Meena, Special Chief Secretary to the Government of Telangana in Revenue and Disaster Management Department and Dr B Janardan Reddy, Commissioner GHMC who spoke on Disaster Management Plans of Telangana in general and urban flooding in Hyderabad in particular.
Post, the seminar, a Table Top Exercise, based on the theme of ‘Urban Flooding in Hyderabad’ was conducted which simulated the contingencies and criticalities emerging during a flooding situation and brought to fore the response of all agencies at the National and State level and included the role of Media, NGOs and other contributing agencies.