Govt decides to raise four more NDRF battalions
New Delhi, August 9
Further strengthening the disaster response architecture in the country, the government on Thursday approved a proposal of the Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) to raise four more battalions of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), each comprising 1,000 recruits.
The cost of raising the battalions is estimated to be Rs 637 crore.
Informing about the decision taken at the meeting of the Union Cabinet, which was chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Law Minister Ravishankar Prasad said, “Approval has been granted to an MHA proposal to raise four additional battalions of the NDRF at an estimated cost of Rs 637 crore.”
The minister said two of the four battalions will initially be raised in the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) and one each in the Border Security Force (BSF) and Assam Rifles.
“Based on the vulnerability profile, these battalions will be placed in Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Delhi. Later, these will be converted into NDRF battalions,” Prasad informed.
In a statement, the government also highlighted the objective as it said, “The decision is aimed at reducing the response time keeping in view the vast geographic area of the country.”
Created in 2006, the NDRF currently has 12 battalions stationed across the country for easy deployment during natural disasters and other emergencies. The force is specially trained to deal with calamities like earthquakes, floods, cyclones and man-made disasters.
The NDRF has earned laurels for its services during floods in Uttarakhand, Jammu and Kashmir, Assam, Tamil Nadu, cyclones in Odisha and Andhra Pradesh and earthquake in Nepal.
An NDRF team was also sent to Japan a few years ago to help the authorities there in handling a tsunami.