BIMSTEC exercise held on Odisha beach

Bhubaneswar (NVI): BIMSTEC Disaster Management Exercise on flood rescue was inaugurated today by Union Minister of State for Home Affairs Nityanand Rai at the Ramachandi Beach in Odisha’s Puri district.

Delegates & rescue teams of 5 member nations namely- India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka & Myanmar, of BIMSTEC group participated in the event.

Nityanand Rai launched this field training exercise in line with the three day ‘BIMSTEC DMEx-2020’ event which is being organized in Bhubaneswar.

Highlighting the historicity and diverse cultural heritage sites in the BIMSTEC region, Nityanand said that this exercise will provide a platform for member states to evaluate existing capabilities, share best emergency response practices, improve existing emergency preparedness and strengthen regional response mechanism and also to conduct risk assessment in the context of cultural heritage sites at the time of disaster.

He said this exercise will help in sharing best practices and expertise, consolidating the disaster response, coordination and cooperation among BIMSTEC countries during disasters.

In order to bring in a feel of real disaster scenario, “simulated exercise sites including villages & Heritage Site (Konark Sun Temple)” were set up at Ramachandi Beach in Puri to depict flooded localities and houses due to the flood disaster.

Large number of simulated dummy structures including multi-storied buildings and houses were erected in inundated condition with marooned people & livestock at the exercise site to reflect the real disaster scenario.

A scenario of flood disaster caused by cyclone followed by heavy rainfall was created.

A large number of people were presumed to be stranded within the simulated villages and also the cyclone adversely affected a cultural heritage site.

A heli-borne rescue operation was carried out to demonstrate the coordination among various stakeholders to deal with emergency situation. Relief activities such as providing medical care to the needy, distribution of food packets etc.

For this Exercise, a Communication Centre, Emergency Operation Centre (EOC), Base of Operation, Medical Camp, Facilitation Centre, Media Enclave etc. were established by the NDRF as per the International Search & Rescue Advisory Group (INSARAG) guidelines for familiarization & exercise purpose.

This Joint Field Training Exercise was conducted under the leadership of Satya Narayan Pradhan, Director General, NDRF.

International observers from ICCROM, INSARAG, UNDP also attended the exercise. It was witnessed by representatives from Senior Officials of MHA, MEA, NDMA, NDRF, State representatives & other senior dignitaries.