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LG chairs DDMA meet on preparedness for quake, H3N2 flu

Delhi needed to be fully prepared to handle any disaster and preparations to this effect should be put in place from today itself, V K Saxena said.

Statesman News Service | New Delhi |

Recounting his experience of the Gujarat earthquake that had caused widespread destruction, Lieutenant Governor V K Saxena on Saturday said that Delhi needed to be fully prepared to handle any disaster and preparations to this effect should be put in place from today itself.

It was stated by the lieutenant governor while chairing the 38th meeting of the Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) here.

The meeting discussed the preparedness for any earthquake in the city and the ongoing H3N2 Flu situation.

Vice Chairman of DDMA, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Delhi Revenue Minister Kailash Gahlot apart from the Chief Secretary, Special Commissioner (Police), Divisional Commissioner, Secretary (Health), VC, DDA, Commissioner MCD and top representatives of Army, NDMA, NIDM, National Institute of Seismology and all District Magistrates were present in the meeting.

Held in the wake of the disastrous earthquakes in Turkiye and Syria, the meeting took stock of the preparedness and deliberated upon charting and augmenting the way forward, in case of an earthquake in the city which fell in the ‘High Damage Risk Zone IV’ on the seismic map of India.

The prevalent situation of H3N2 Flu, H1N1 Flu and Covid-19 were also discussed in the meeting.

With regards to addressing the trend of rising H3N2 Flu and COVID cases, it was decided that though not mandatorily, protocols like masking, physical distancing, hand hygiene and sanitation, preparedness of hospitals, etc needed to be followed to the farthest possible extent.

Stressing that disasters did not give prior information before manifesting themselves, the Lieutenant Governor emphasised upon the need to be completely prepared to face eventuality, even if it entailed erring on the side of caution.

Saxena asked for retrofitting of all schools, hospitals, police stations, other critical government offices and vulnerable buildings especially in the ‘Special Area’ and old Delhi localities, according to the Earthquake Resilient Building Code. He also asked to identify open spaces across the Capital for rescue operations in the event of an earthquake and also the hospital at the level of every District and Sub Division for emergency response.

Saxena said works should be started on the same in a time-bound manner.

The Chief Minister stressed upon the need to compile and tabulate all reports of different committees constituted from time to time with regards to mitigation of disasters and thereafter effects and also underlined the need to make government offices like the Delhi Secretariat and Police Headquarters, earthquake-resistant through retrofitting.

Kejriwal underlined that once all reports were collated and compiled along with the actions taken on them so far, the future course of action may be decided.

It was agreed that the Divisional Commissioner, who is also the Nodal Officer and Convenor of DDMA, will undertake this exercise and put it up for consideration and further directions of the DDMA in its next meeting.