BENGALURU: The floods that have battered Chennai come as a wake-up call for the authorities here as Bengaluru too is not prepared to deal with a calamity of that scale, warned former DG&IGP M D Singh on Friday.
“In fact, you don’t even have to take the Chennai floods as an example. A flood of that proportion may not happen in Bengaluru but there are other threats in the city. We need to be better prepared to deal with such situations,” Singh said.
According to him, many chemical factories do not follow guidelines and thereby, pose a serious security threat. And of course, terror and epidemic threats always hang over a city of Bengaluru’s size and diverse population. “People and departments concerned get too little time to deal with a calamity once it strikes. It is always better to be prepared,” he said.
Retired police officer B B Ashok Kumar said, “As of now, we are not fully prepared to address any disaster. There must be a system where selected persons must take charge. It is also necessary to ensure substitutes are there for them.”
“The Home Minister and the Bengaluru in-charge Minister should hold a meeting to conduct a reality check here. A committee must be formed with resource persons or retired officers. They should draw up a detailed plan to address disaster situations,” he said. As part of disaster management training, personnel are often put through mock terror attack drills. “But mock drills should be held for all sorts of emergencies,” Ashok Kumar said.
The Civil Defence Corps, which plays a big role in disaster management, is made up of volunteers. A senior official of Civil Defence Corps-Karnataka said they have 10,500 volunteers who have been trained to respond to natural disasters as well as major accidents.
The second Administrative Reforms Commission report had suggested that at least 1 per cent of every city’s population should be part of the civil defence corps. This means a city with a population of 1 crore should have 1 lakh civil defence volunteers.