Centre plans to increase NDRF battalions

The Centre is considering increasing the strength of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), keeping in mind the growing demand for the elite force, particularly during the time of natural calamities.

The NDRF has 10 battalions at the moment, which is expected to go up to 12.

“The demand for the NDRF is increasing day by day. Therefore, two more battalions would be added to its existing strength”, said Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde while addressing the Ninth Raising Day function of the force, held at its training centre in Munduli near coastal Odisha town of Cuttack on Sunday.

He was chief guest on the occasion.

The elite force had played a key role in rescue and relief operations during the two major natural calamities faced by the country last year — the cloudburst and subsequent flooding in Uttarakhand and Cyclone Phailin in Odisha and the coastal districts of neighbouring Andhra Pradesh.

“During both calamities, NDRF jawans did an excellent job,” said the home minister, adding that the elite force had also enhanced the country’s prestige by doing a great job in Japan during the tsunami there.

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