Delhi takes lesson from Kashmir's disaster

Govt to set up 24X7 emergency operations centre

Learning its lesson from the devastation in Jammu and Kashmir, the Delhi Disaster Management Authority has hastened efforts for setting up a 24X7 emergency operations centre and helpline. At present, there is no professional facility for attending distress calls round-the-clock.

A senior official based in the DDMA headquarters said an e-tender has been issued inviting private firms for providing the workforce for running the disaster helpline for two years.

“The centre will be set up in an office at Shamnath Marg in north Delhi, but will be manned by a private firm’s employees,” a sub-divisional magistrate said.

A DDMA official said the private agency tasked with running the helpline will provide trained staff for handling both inbound and outbound calls related to a disaster situation.

“The core activity will be to assist in disaster management. Receiving distress calls from people and passing on the information to disaster rescue teams will be the key responsibility,” an official said.

An official said as per the proposal, the centre will be operational in three shifts and will be manned by four call executives and one supervisor in each shift.

The DDMA has proposed to offer an annual fee of Rs 30 lakh to the private firm that would operate the helpline, an official said. “The process for awarding the contract may take a few weeks,” an official said.

The DDMA proposes to outsource the helpline work to 15 private firm employees. “One of them will be a team leader, with three supervisors and 12 call executives,” an official said.

A revenue department official said the need for such a facility was being felt for a long time but now it has been decided to hasten the process in view of the emergency in J&K. “We also want to be ready for any eventuality,” he said.

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