Himachal Pradesh to Launch Rs. 890 Crore Disaster Risk Reduction Program
The Himachal Pradesh government has prepared a Rs. 890 crore program to reduce disaster risk and improve climate resilience. The program, which will be implemented in collaboration with the Agence Francaise de Developpement (AFD), a French development agency, will run for five years from April 2024.
The program will focus on four key areas:
- Enhancing disaster risk governance: This will involve strengthening institutional capabilities, improving understanding of risks, and promoting knowledge sharing.
- Reinforcement of disaster preparedness: This will involve establishing effective early warning systems and improving emergency response capabilities.
- Eco-disaster risk reduction and nature-based solutions: This will involve measures such as afforestation, watershed management, and sustainable land use.
- Capacity building and awareness raising: This will involve training people on disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation.
The program will also establish a State Institute for Disaster Management, strengthen the Himachal Pradesh State Disaster Management Authority (HPSDMA) and District Disaster Management Authorities (DDMAs), and create a State Emergency Operations Center (EOC) and district-level EOCs.
Chief Minister Thakur Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu said that the program is a “comprehensive approach to disaster and climate risk reduction” that will help to make Himachal Pradesh more resilient to the challenges of climate change.
“This is the high time to address climate change’s escalating threat and the need to take proactive measures,” he said. “This program will help us to do just that.”
The program is expected to benefit over 7 million people in Himachal Pradesh.
Here are some of the specific initiatives that will be undertaken under the program:
- Development of early warning systems for landslides, flash floods, cloudbursts, Glacial Lake Outburst Floods (GLOFs), and dam safety.
- Improving networks for flood forecasting and introducing a GIS-based Decision Support System.
- Implementation of forest fire mitigation measures, including the establishment of fire stations in previously underserved locations.
- Enhancement of the capabilities of three existing fire stations to handle Hazardous Materials (HAZMAT) emergencies.
- Landslide mitigation and the stabilization of vulnerable landslide sites.
The program is a significant step forward in Himachal Pradesh’s efforts to reduce disaster risk and improve climate resilience. It is expected to make the state more prepared to face the challenges of the future.