Kanteerava Indoor stadium in Bangalore, which otherwise plays host to track and field events, witnessed a “bomb blast” and two “fire incidents” on Monday which resulted in at least a dozen people being “injured.”
This was how National Disaster Reduction Day was observed in the City where teams of the civil defence and quick response units, Home Guards, Red Cross volunteers, fire department and police personnel, waiting in readiness nearby, exhibited their preparedness in handling emergency situations.
Schoolchildren and volunteers from various organisations watched the events unfold in front of their eyes while sitting in the stands. In one corner of the stadium where was a sudden “bomb blast,” in another corner, a temporary hut located near the track caught fire and started to blaze within seconds.
Teams of firefighters sped towards the area of the fire, dousing the flames before it could spread to other stands in the stadium. On the other side, home guards, quick reaction teams, medicos all reached near the “bomb blast” site and within minutes, half-a-dozen ambulances, their sirens blaring, reached the accident site to take the “victims” to hospitals, many of whom had by then received first-aid.
The intention of the exercise was to create awareness among the general public about disaster preparedness, response time, and community participation, a source said.
Home Minister K J George, who was witness to the demonstration, said that the government is serious in improving the civil defence in the State. Governor H R Bhardwaj, who was also in attendance, said that the civil defence is as important a branch as the armed forces. “A nation is defended by the armed forces on its frontiers, but civil defence has a great role in the safety and security of the state from within,” he said. “It is therefore important for the civil defence department to be equipped with ultra-modern equipment and for it to undergo an overall modernisation.”
He added that he had asked the Red Cross to work in tandem with the Civil Defence Department.
Karnataka Civil defence was awarded as the best team by the Ministry of Home Affairs, said an official of the department.