Gangtok, May 25 (IPR): Sikkim State Disaster Management Authority Department (SSDMA) held a valedictory function for IAS officers serving in the Himalayan States who participated in the four days of Regional Training Programme on “Mitigation and Management of Glacial Lake Outburst Flood(GLOF) and Disaster in High Altitude Areas” in the State.
Shri Kunga Nima Lepcha, Minister of Land Revenue & Disaster Management, was the chief guest for the valedictory function. Shri Anil Raj Rai, Relief cum Secretary, LR&DM, Prof VK Sharma, Vice Chairman, SSDMA, Shri Prabhakar Rai, Special Secretary cum Director SSDMA and Ms Ekta Uniyal, Assistant Director, LBSNAA, shared the dice with the chief guest. Also present were the officers and staff of the SSDMA department, Government of Sikkim.
Shri Kunga Nima Lepcha, Minister of Land Revenue and Disaster Management Department, in his address, pointed out that a disaster can be mitigated when the root cause and consequences are fully mainstreamed into planning policies, programmes and practices. He said that both natural and man-made attributes are considered to be the base for disasters occurring around the globe. He stated that development is important to accommodate the rising population, but in the process of the development schemes, we need to remember that Mother Earth also has limitations. Recalling the 2011 earthquake, where many man-made properties were damaged, the Minister laid emphasis on building resilient infrastructures. He mentioned that the training session has been organised to let the participants of different hilly regions know how a small State like Sikkim functions in managing disasters. He hoped that the training session had highlighted the deep insights into several issues that needed to be considered. He further stated that the training helps the officers adapt to the tough challenges they will face during their administrative careers.
Lastly, he expressed his gratitude for having the opportunity to be present at the valedictory function and urged the participants to share their learning experiences back in their respective States.
Shri Prabhakar Rai, Special Secretary cum Director SSDMA exhibited a brief report about the four days training programme. He informed the chair that two days of technical sessions and two days of field visits assessment in the north district helped identify the structural flaws and the availability of the necessary facilities at the time of disaster. He appraised the chair that the report was placed by the representative of SSDMA on the activities of the department and the purpose of organising the training in the State. Various geographical aspects of the State were discussed, he added. Shri Prabhakar Rai also informed the Minister that the team visited the Sokpay Landslide area, Mantam Landslide area and Urja Ltd in the North District.
Prof VK Sharma, Vice Chairman, SSDMA, in his address, applauded the officials for their active participation in the training. He said that the training period was to analyse the multiple hazard risks and identify the improvement areas for safer communities. He asserted that the responsibility comes from developing a strategy for implementation with the collaboration of the concerned department in the government. He highlighted the importance of framework, sustainable goals and the impact of climate change. He stated that an appropriate operating Incident Response System should be delivered to the right people at the right time to curtail disaster risk and impact. He further highlighted that the training session provided an analysis of the disaster management structure in the State. Lastly, he urged the participants to concentrate on the institutional capacities within their states.
Minister Shri Kunga Nima Lepcha, along with other dignitaries, presented a memento and a certificate to the esteemed IAS officials of the hilly regions who participated in the four days of the Regional Training Programme on “Mitigation and Management of Glacial Lake Outburst Flood” GLOF and Disaster in High Altitude Areas.
During the event, the participants thanked the SSDMA and LBSNAA for organising the training session. The officials expressed gratitude to the chair for the valuable learning experience they accumulated in the State. The participants also put forth their suggestions regarding various observations made during the training period.
Earlier, Shri PS Negi, Additional Director, Scientist ‘F’ Head Training Cell, Defence Geoinformatics Research Establishment (DGRE), presented a PowerPoint presentation on Snow Avalanche Risk Assessment and Management with Special Focus on Avalanche Safety and Rescue.
Similarly, Dr Prateek Chaturvedi, Scientists ‘E’ Posted at Tejpur, Assam, also presented a PowerPoint presentation where she briefed about the Risk Assessment and Management of LandSlide in Sikkim.
After their presentation, Shri PS Negi and Dr Prateek Chaturvedi were presented with a token of appreciation by the Minister, Shri Kunga Nima Lepcha.
The programme was held at the conference hall of Hotel Tashi Delek, Gangtok. Shri Anil Raj Rai, Relief Commissioner cum Secretary, Land Revenue & Disaster Management Department, presented the welcome speech earlier.
The programme concluded with a vote of thanks proposed by Ms Ekta Uniyal, Assistant Director, Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration, LBSNAA.