The training is being conducted as part of the Disaster Management Support Project under GOI-United States Agency for International Development [USAID] and United States Forest Service [USFS] and is imparted to the officials and Councilors of GMC, officials of the District administration, nodal officers of line departments, Army, BRO, ITBP SSB, along with the officials from Sikkim State Disaster Management Authority and the Land Revenue and Disaster Management Department.
Keeping in view the occurrence of disasters on a frequent basis and the difficulties faced in responding to such emergencies, the Government of India has collaborated with USAID for institutionalizing the Incident Command System [ICS] of America to India which is known as Incident Response System [IRS]. Accordingly, Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration, Mussoorie was initially designated as the Nodal Training Centre for this purpose and NIDM is the nodal Institution for all training and development on such matters.
Arun Sahadev [Consultant, NIDM], Col. Supanekar [Disaster Management Head from YASHDA Training Institute Pune], C Balaji Singh [Disaster Management Expert and Country Liason US Forest Service], Steve Heil [US Forest Service, type one Incident Commander] and Rajesh Bhatia [Assistant Director, Administration Training Institute, Government of Delhi] were the resource persons who will impart training on the principles and features of IRS, organization and staffing, incident resource and resource management etc.
Gangtok Mayor KN Topgay, while speaking at the inaugural session, stated that this training is imperative for the State as it is prone to disaster of various types. Therefore, preparedness is the solution to reduce the impact of disasters. Nevertheless, the State machinery along with other line departments and paramilitary forces had responded well in the disasters which had occurred in the past, but still there are shortcomings which need to be addressed, he added. The Mayor also felt the need of such training at ground zero so that each and every individual has an important role to play in preparedness initiatives to prevent hazards from turning into disasters.
SBS Bhadauria [Relief Commissioner cum Secretary, Land Revenue and Disaster Management] in his address mentioned about the Incident Response System that incorporates all the duties that may be performed in case of any disaster or event. It envisages a complete team with various sections to attend to all possible requirements. The Secretary, further added that if the IRS is put in place and stakeholders trained in their respective duties and roles, it will help reduce chaos and confusion during the management of actual incident and everyone involved will know what all needs to be done.
An understanding of the Incident Response System in the event of any disaster is crucial since the roles of each authority are laid down in advance and personnel earmarked and trained in their respective roles. This would help in effective disaster management in the State, he informed.
C Balaji Singh [Disaster Management Expert and Country Liason, US Forest Service], who was the resource person in his brief address expressed that IRS is at the initial stage in the state of Sikkim with an objective of making response process much more effective. The inaugural session was followed by a technical session.