New Delhi: Union Home Secretary L.C. Goyal on Saturday called for building capacities of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and the State Disaster Response Forces (SDRFs) to tackle natural and man-made disasters effectively.
Goyal was speaking while inaugurating the annual conference of relief commissioners/secretaries, department of disaster management of states/UTs, to review the status of preparedness for the south-west monsoon.
He said the primary responsibility of disaster management rests with the state governments, an official release said.
Noting that only 21 States have constituted SDRFs, the home secretary said he expected other states to set up SDRFs in a given time frame and the states should utilise the funds given to them by the 14th Finance Commission for this purpose.
On its part, the central government has already sanctioned two more battalions in addition to the 10 existing battalions of the NDRF to supplement the efforts of the state governments.
The National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) is also giving technical support and providing logistics to the states, he added.
Pointing out that the three Cs - capacity, coordination and community participation -- were the pillars of disaster management, Goyal said the role of civil society, including the NGOs, had become critical in disaster management.
"Disaster management is a joint effort and preparedness becomes critical in hour of crisis to tackle the disaster effectively," he said.
He also called for the government and civil authorities, NGOs and people in general to join in this "real social service" which is related to saving human lives.
The home secretary pointed out that every warning issued by the India Meteorological Department (IMD) must be taken seriously "whether it is big or small".