10 minutes enough to save victims: NDRF chief

By M P Jesu Priya Published on Nov 07, 2017 05:02 PM IST

Chennai: Since 2015, NDRF has become a name associated with rains, floods and cyclone. Now that the rains are back, personnel of National Disaster Response Force are geared up to help the people, says its Director General Rekha Nambiar.

Speaking to News Today, she says, "We are well stocked in manpower, equipment and communication. We are well prepared for everything that is to come."

In 2015 deluge, NDRF was at work in Chennai, rescuing people affected by floods.

"This time too we are prepared for the worst. During Vardah, we needed cutting equipment to remove fallen trees. We got fresh machines now," adds Rekha.

"We have nine teams with 45 members in each group. When trainees enter NDRF, they will do a basic training first and then undergo a 19 week intensive course. We are training our staff in Tamilnadu and Puducherry in cyclone and flood relief."

She recalls that they faced communication problem in 2015 floods. The team members were not able to co-ordinate among themselves as mobile connectivity was down.

"We have worked on that and have installed a new communication tower within our campus in Arakkonam. This will ensure that we stay connected in times of natural disaster,"says Rekha.

In terms of transport, the team has got two new buses to improve mobility. "We have 10 new boats and have upgraded our old ones."

Taking about the rescue programme she adds, "We come under the Central government and will be deployed only when the State government requests our service. Till now there has been no rescue call. If the situation gets bad, NDRF will be pressed into action."

"Even if we receive a call now, our people will be able to leave the campus within 10 minutes," she concludes.