Be prepared for any monsoon disaster, states told

Another advice from Home Secretary G.K. Pillai for the state governments was to keep a close vigil on human traffickers who abduct those affected, particularly children, left vulnerable after devastating floods, to work as bricklayers, domestic servants and even sold as brides.

Pillai, at the day-long conference on disaster management ahead of monsoon, "warned that human trafficking gangs become very active during all disasters and there was a need to monitor their activities", a home ministry statement said.

The home ministry organised the annual conference to review the status of preparedness of the states and union territories for southwest monsoon.

Pillai, in his address, emphasised the importance of disaster management and climate change and their impact on health, agriculture and habitat of different species.
Speaking about the preparedness and mitigation measures, he pointed out that amendment of building bylaws as per vulnerability index of the states was "the key priority area and there was an urgent need to prepare for disaster scenarios through regular mock drills and exercises".

Secretary, border management, A.E. Ahmed in his address focused on hazard scenarios and their impact coupled with climate change aspects.

He also asked the state representatives to prepare and forward consolidated memoranda for central assistance in case of disasters of severe nature.

"The states needed to gear up their machinery for coordination with all stakeholders engaged in disaster related activities and to follow the checklists issued by (the ministry) for better preparedness," Ahmed said, according to the statment.

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