“Managing disasters is necessarily a collaborative and complex exercise and I believe that integration of disaster risk reduction strategies must involve the local communities to realize development initiatives”, said Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh while presiding over the first session on State Platform on Disaster Risk Reduction today.
The Panchayati Raj Institutions and urban local bodies along with NGOs can supplement the efforts of the Government to mitigate disasters and lessen its impact, he said. Since Himachal Pradesh falls in seismic zone five which is most vulnerable to earthquakes and also to natural and man-made disasters, there was a need to foster an enabling environment for developing a culture of prevention and to undertake concerted measures to facilitate the integration of disaster management into development planning in various sectors, said the Chief Minister.
“Disasters strike us unaware and we should be ready to face these as and when they occur”, said Shri Virbhadra Singh, adding that it becomes desirable that the State Government departments, district administrations, educational institutions and the various other stakeholders in the field of disaster management and people representing different interests in the area should evolve a participatory process of decision making in disaster management and mitigation.
The Chief Minister congratulated the Himachal Pradesh State Disaster Management Authority (HPSDMA) and said that the platform would emerge as a very useful forum for exchange of ideas and experience and would be of great help to the States in building system for preventing disasters. “I am very happy that the State has made good progress in these areas in the last few years”, he said adding further that “we have endeavored to paradigm shift in disaster management from the relief centric classical approach to more holistic approach”.