2nd BIMSTEC DMEx-2020 begins in Puri

The preparatory meeting of 2nd BIMSTEC DMEx-2020 commenced at Mayfair Hotel & Resorts in Puri, Odisha on November 14.

New Delhi (NVI): The preparatory meeting of 2nd Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation Disaster Management Exercise (BIMSTEC DMEx-2020) commenced today in Puri, Odisha.

The main objective of the preparatory meeting is to work out modalities and requirement of BIMSTEC DMEx-2020 in advance and the focus will be to test the existing procedures for notification, preparedness and response to an emergency in a coordinated manner during a major earthquake scenario and flooding or storm surge at the cultural heritage site, an official statement said.

This marks the first phase of the 2nd ‘BIMSTEC Disaster Management Exercise- 2020’ scheduled for 11-13 February, 2020, and comprises of a preparatory meeting and field visit of site selected for Field Training Exercise (FTx) for main exercise.

This will test multi-stakeholders coordination in a disaster scenario involving international, national, state, district and local agencies.

It may be noted that during the 4th BIMSTEC Summit held at Kathmandu in August, 2018, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had proposed to host the 2nd BIMSTEC Disaster Management Exercise and the expert group meeting of NDMAs/NDMOs of BIMSTEC nation in 2019-20 in India.

Delivering the inaugural address, Lt. Gen. Marwah said that BIMSTEC region is rich in cultural heritage but prone to various kinds of disasters. Citing the examples of recent disasters that took place in the BIMSTEC countries and affected heritage sites, Hon’ble chief guest felt the need of comprehensive and systematic action for safety of heritage sites during a disaster especially during floods and earthquake scenarios.

Delivering the inaugural address, Lt Gen Marwah said that BIMSTEC region is rich in cultural heritage but prone to various kinds of disasters.

Citing the examples of recent disasters that took place in the BIMSTEC countries and affected heritage sites, the chief guest felt the need of comprehensive and systematic action for safety of heritage sites during a disaster especially during floods and earthquake scenarios.

Lt Gen Marwah further added that during the last 10 years, the frequency of cyclone in the region has increased by over 30 percent and caused severe damage to the heritage sites. He also underlined frequent changes in the climatic condition, its effect on the heritage sites and steps to be taken for prevention of these heritages sites.

Satya Narayan Pradhan Director General, NDRF, said the modalities and requirements of the 2nd ‘BIMSTEC Disaster Management Exercise- 2020 would be worked out during the course of the two-day preparatory meeting.

He said NDRF is working in collaboration with other stakeholders including states with significant heritage sites to sustain this drive and awareness in a campaign mode. He commended the Odisha government for taking this highly critical domain of comprehensive disaster management.

Director, BIMSTEC Secretariat, Pankaj Hazarika, representatives from Indian National Trust for Art And Cultural Heritage (INTACH), Archeological Survey of India (ASI) and DOERS also expressed their views during the meeting. Presentations

Senior officers from MEA, NDMA, NDRF and representatives from all seven BIMSTEC nations — Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Myanmar and Thailand — are participating in the preparatory meeting.