Vijayawada: Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh laid the foundation stone for NDRF 10th Battalion in Vijayawada in the presence of Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu and I & B Minister Venkaiah Naidu.
Hailing the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) as the “pride of the nation”, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Monday asked it to come out with proactive and preemptive strategies to become more efficient, responsive and effective.
“We are very proud of the brave NDRF officers. It has established itself as a leading agency in less than 10 years and become the pride of India. Even other countries are discussing NDRF,” he said addressing the commandos after laying the foundation stone for the 10th battalion headquarters of NDRF at Kondapavuluru village in Vijayawada on Monday afternoon.
“Disaster management needs to be effective, efficient and responsive. The NDRF is all these, but at the same time a reactive strategy is just not enough. You have to be proactive and preemptive. Some improvement in this regard is needed,” Rajnath Singh said.
The Home Minister admitted that the government could not fulfil the demand for more infrastructure to the NDRF. “Yes, NDRF needs more infrastructure. Now there are 12 battalions and they have to be increased. People of the country and experts have been demanding this. We will try to enhance the strength,” Rajnath assured.
“People of India have a lot of faith and confidence that any disaster can be overcome only because of NDRF. Not just floods, but the NDRF can handle radiological, biological and even nuclear disasters. It’s not a small thing,” he said.
Referring to the international efforts of NDRF, the Home Minister recalled its services rendered during the devastating earthquake in neighbouring Nepal and Shanghai. “Other countries are now discussing your efficiency. You have earned a new reputation internationally,” Rajnath praised.
“The Mayor of Shanghai spoke to me and appreciated the efforts of NDRF in retrieving not only the alive from under the debris but also dead with due respect,” Rajnath said.
The NDRF 10th battalion headquarters will come up on a 50-acre plot at Kondapavuluru at a cost of Rs 200 crore.
The battalion, currently functioning from a makeshift campus on the Acharya Nagarjuna University, has 1,200 personnel and caters to Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Karnataka.
Union Urban Development Minister M Venkaiah Naidu, Andhra Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu, Union Minister of State for Science and Technology Y S Chowdary, NDRF Director General R K Pachnanda and AP Director General of Police (in charge) Nanduri Sambasiva Rao were among the others who attended the event.
The NDRF personnel presented various mock drills on the occasion.