Amarnath Yatra: NDMA conducts mock exercises to improve preparedness

In its efforts to improve preparedness and response mechanisms in the event of a disaster during the upcoming Amarnath Yatra, the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) conducted mock exercises simulating various disaster scenarios, along the Amarnath Yatra route today.

The annual Amarnath Yatra to the cave shrine in south Kashmir will begin from June 29 and continue till August 7.

Simultaneous exercises have been conducted at critical areas along the Baltal and the Pahalgam-Chandanwari routes by NDMA experts Maj. Gen. V.K. Datta (Retd.) and Maj. Gen. (Dr.) V.K. Naik (Retd.). They trained the participants on key aspects of disaster management such as the formation of Incident Response Teams, coordination among various participating agencies, evacuation, medical preparedness and trauma counselling.

The exercises began with Co-ordination Conferences on Day 1 (June 21) followed by Table-top Exercises on Day 2 (June 22). Senior officials from all stakeholder departments such as the Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board (SASB), the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), the State Disaster Response Force (SDRF), the Rashtriya Rifles, the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), Army, police, health, Civil Defense, transport, fire and other emergency services attended these preparatory meetings and participated in the mock exercises.

A debriefing exercise was conducted afterwards wherein the participants discussed the shortcomings and ways to address them.

NDMA has so far conducted more than 550 mock exercises across the country for various disaster situations with a State-level mock exercise on earthquake preparedness in Delhi on June 30, 2017 next on the list.