JAIPUR: A joint exercise, ‘Rahat’, for all stakeholders started at Jaipur on Monday. The exercise had all the stakeholders like armed forces, SDRF, NDMA and others speaking in form of a table top exercise about their preparation and actions in case of an earthquake like disaster in the state as well as military attaches from friendly countries including Japan.
A mock drill was also conducted with an earthquake like scenario in which the action of all disaster relief operation was done from the first warning of an earthquake to rescue and casualty evacuation.
Helicopters like Chetak and Dhruv ALH were also used during the drill and other equipment for relief operations were also shown.
Chief minister Ashok Gehlot witnessed the disaster management exercise in Jaipur along with other senior officials and families of the soldiers.
“Setting up command and coordination cells are one of the first important steps in case of a major disaster . Officials also need to keep in constant touch with not just the representatives of various disaster relief agencies but also with the ground level operatives like the local police, volunteers, panchayat heads etc,” said an official.
Emphasising on the use of technology, Lt Gen Cherish Mathson, Army Commander, Sapta Shakti Command added, “We have radars which can see through the walls and even ascertain whether the person trapped inside is alive or not. Such technology needs to be used along with the community when a disaster occurs. This was evident in the Kerala floods last year as the community members like the fishermen there became the first responders.”
To elaborate on the scene of a disaster, the mock drill also showed assembling of a temporary bridge, the foot workers and even the dogs which can be used to sniff out the people trapped in rubble at time of an earthquake.
During the exercise, earthquake scenarios will be created at Alwar as well as Kota simultaneously on Tuesday and all aspects of disaster management and relief and rescue operations during any such eventuality will be worked out on ground for better coordination and speedy operations with the aim of minimising civilian casualties.
According to experts, major parts of Rajasthan lie in seismic zone II (least active), however, due to the geographical location, parts of Alwar and Barmer districts fall under seismic zone IV. Coupled with the hectic monopolisation of urban areas, unplanned expansion of population, large towns and cities of the state are exposed to greater risk from earthquakes.