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Dealing with disasters: Parrikar to draw from experience as DefMin

Story: The Goan Network | 07th December 2017, 01:11 Hrs

Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar will draw upon what he has learned during his stint as Defence Minister to put in place a separate disaster management mechanism to ensure that the state is prepared to respond to natural disasters and other calamities.
Speaking at a press conference on Wednesday, the Chief Minister said that the disaster management mechanism was being set up which would involve his expertise.
"As a defence minister I have handled many disasters, most of the disasters, the army had to be called in... mostly coastal regions. The basic problem of the disaster is that the person who is supposed to manage these disasters... The disaster has to be tackled by the very people, who may also get the brunt of the disaster. This happened in Srinagar when the army was called in. The full army camp was under 15 ft of water. Despite that of that the army could support the civilian population in 2014. That was because of a separate mechanism which army has," Parrikar told reporters.
"Our disaster management mechanism is under the process of being set up. We need a completely independent mechanism which will function in the same pattern as data storage (where data is located on servers that are in different geographical locations)," Parrikar said.
"In the current (situation) there is no Standard Operating Procedure. So today we discussed... I have asked (the) revenue minister to work out (an) SOP. The biggest problem in every aspect is there is no SOP. So people do not know what to do next. This is one of the best things I learnt from the army. Everywhere even if they have to shave, they will have SOP. How the clothes have to be tied. What should be the colour of the clothes...." he said.
Referring to the current ‘calamity' Parrikar suggested that it wasn't a ‘disaster' and that it would have happened cyclone or not.
"This is not a disaster, mind you... Because of the super moon, this incident would have taken place even without a cyclone, because the water would be much higher than the normal high tide. It is a special day, on that day it happens. With cyclone impact, some rise in water level was added up. So the damage was slightly more...," Parrikar said.
"Basically there is no cyclonic damage as such. There are damages, for which we will take the report and pay them some compensation," Parrikar said.

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LEARNING FROM ARMY

Parrikar's briefing ...

* As former defence minister I have handled many disasters. In most of the cases the army had to be called in, mostly coastal regions
* Disaster has to be tackled by the very people who may also feel the brunt. This happened in 2014 in Srinagar when the army was called in
* The full army camp was under 15 ft of water. Despite that, the army could support the civilian population because of a separate mechanism it has
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ON CURRENT CALAMITY
* This is not a disaster (aftereffects of cyclone Ockhi)
* It happened because of the super moon
* It's a special day and it happens on that day

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