The two-day Preparatory Meeting of the First ‘BIMSTEC Disaster Management Exercise- 2017’ began here today. Lt Gen (Retired) N C Marwah, Member, National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), was the Chief Guest at the inaugural session. This marks the first phase of the First ‘BIMSTEC Disaster Management Exercise- 2017’, being organized by the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF).
Delivering the Inaugural Address at the Preparatory Meeting, Lt. Gen. Marwah said the Disaster Management Exercise of BIMSTEC bloc will help in the augmentation of capacities, especially response capacity, besides promoting cooperation and coordination in Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR). Regional and International Cooperation in DRR is critical to Disaster Management, he added. Lt. Gen. Marwah said India has been at the forefront of DRR efforts by hosting the South Asian Annual Disaster Management Exercise (SAADMEx) and the Asian Ministerial Conference for Disaster Risk Reduction (AMCDRR). India has also offered its expertise and capabilities in DRR such as the South Asia satellite, GSAT-9, and the Tsunami Early Warning Centre to other countries, he added.
Lt. Gen. Marwah said the impact of natural disasters is increasing due to growing population and urbanization. Sharing of Best Practices in DRR including Prevention, Mitigation and Resilience are critical to Disaster Management, he added. Speaking on the occasion, Director General, NDRF, Shri Sanjay Kumar said the modalities and requirements of the First ‘BIMSTEC Disaster Management Exercise- 2017’ would be worked during the course of the two-day Preparatory Meeting.
Shri Prashant Agarwal, Joint Secretary (BIMSTEC & SAARC), MEA said the Disaster Management was one of the important Agenda items the BIMSTEC leaders deliberated upon during the Goa BRICS Summit in October last year where BIMSTEC leaders were the Special Invitees. Senior officers from MHA, MEA, NDMA, NDRF and National Institute of Disaster Management (NIDM), besides representatives from all seven BIMSTEC nations, - namely Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Myanmar and Thailand, are participating in the Preparatory Meeting.
The Government of India has entrusted the responsibility of organizing the First ‘BIMSTEC Disaster Management Exercise- 2017’ to the NDRF. This Exercise will provide a platform to share the Best Practices on comprehensive aspects of Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR), strengthening regional response and coordination for Disaster Management among the BIMSTEC nations. The Exercise shall be conducted in two phase in Delhi and NCR. The first phase scheduled for August 8-9, 2017 comprises a Preparatory Meeting and field visit of site selected for Field Training Exercise (FTX) during the main exercise. The main exercise will comprise of Table Top Exercise (TTX), Field Training Exercise (FTX) and After Action Review (AAR) which is scheduled for October 10-13, 2017.