THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Finance Minister Thomas Isaac has called for strengthening the disaster preparedness of the state with specific plans for vulnerable areas, chiefly the coastal belt, landslide-prone areas and the flood plane.
“Area-specific development projects for Kuttanad and Wayanad were announced in the Budget with this view,” he said after inaugurating the national conclave on disaster risk reduction organised by the Institute for Sustainable Development and Governance (ISDG) here on Saturday.
The minister said the 2018 floods showed that the state’s disaster preparedness was inadequate though the strong governmental leadership was able to reduce casualties and minimise damages. The powerful LSG system in the state rose up to the occasion and other stakeholders like the Kudumbashree, voluntary organisations and the general public joined hands with the government for relief activities, he said.
The LSGs were even better than the bureaucracy, he said. The civil society organisations worked within the government framework. The synergy among the stakeholders was crucial. It helped the government fill the gap in the relief activities, he said. The minister said that roping in the support of the fishermen for rescue activities was an innovative idea. The floods created a sense of awareness among the people that they are willing to move out of vulnerable areas, he said.
ISDG president John Samuel, in his address, said the stakeholders should transform their experience to knowledge and knowledge to policy for better preparedness. The inaugural event was attended by Sandeep Chachra, executive director of ActionAid India, Jagadananda, member-secretary of CYSD, Latha Prasad, president of Niranam Panchayat and Sreelekha Raghunath, president of Kuttoor panchayat.