Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik inaugurates the 2nd BIMSTEC Disaster Management Exercise-2020

Bhubaneswar: Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Tuesday stressed on the need of conservation and restoration of the heritage sites that have been damaged by natural disasters.

“Odisha’s heritage sites must be preserved for future generations at any cost for they not only represent the state’s cultural identity but also serves as a driving force of its economy,”said Patnaik inaugurating the 2nd BIMSTEC Disaster Management Exercise-2020 (BIMSTEC DMEx-2020) here.

The three-day programme is being organised jointly by the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and the Odisha State Disaster Management Authority (OSDMA).

He underpinned the preservation of heritage sites and stressed on undertaking of adequate documentation, proper identification and grading of heritage sites.

“It is important to undertake adequate documentation, proper identification and grading of heritage sites based on the potential risk and other characteristics. We must improve upon early warning dissemination system and capacity building for conservation of cultural heritage sites,” said he.

He hoped that the BIMSTEC DMEx-2020 would prove a milestone in safeguarding the cultural heritage sites across the region.

Highlighting Odisha’s disaster preparedness, Patnaik said that maturity in preparedness, along with Zero Casualty approach has shaped Odisha as a role model earning praise from UN and international media. Over 80 delegates belonging to five member countries, Bangladesh, India, Myanmar, Sri Lanka and Nepal, are participating in this exercise. However, Bhutan and Thailand are not participating in the exercise.

Chief Secretary Asit Tripathy and NDRF DG Satya Narayan Pradhan also spoke. The exercise is being organised from Tuesday to Thursday at Bhubaneswar and Puri.

Union Minister of State for Home Nityananda Rai would launch field training exercise at Ramchandi Beach on Wednesday in Puri.

An exercise village has been set up at Ramchandi where simultaneous on aquatic disaster response with special attention to the damage to heritage site would take place as part of the exercise. This would provide real-time scenarios so that in times of disaster, a proper plan for response and coordination among member nation can be executed in multi-agencies scenarios.

International observers like United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), International Search and Rescue Advisory Group (INSARAG) and the International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property (ICCROM) and national observers like Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH), and Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) and representatives from various stakeholders like India Meteorological Department (IMD), National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), National Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasting (NCMRWF), Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services (INCOIS), Central Water Commission (CWC), Animal Quarantine and Certification Service (AQCS), Civil Defence and Fire Services BIMSTEC are participating in the exercise.

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