The Union Home Minister Shri Rajnath Singh inaugurated the four-day first Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation Disaster Management Exercise (BIMSTEC DMEx-2017). The Exercise is being conducted by the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) as the lead agency from October 10-13, 2017 in Delhi and the National Capital Region (NCR). At the 17th BIMSTEC Senior Officials Meeting held in Kathmandu, Nepal on February 7, 2017, it was decided that India would organize the first annual Disaster Management Exercise for the region.
Delegation and response teams of all seven BIMSTEC nations i.e. – Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Thailand were present during the session. Representatives from Embassies/High Commission of BIMSTEC nations in Delhi, MHA, MEA, NDMA, NIDM, NDRF, SDRF, senior officers of CAPFs and state representatives were also present. Over 150 delegates of BIMSTEC member nations are participating in this event.
During the four-day exercise, the delegates from the member nations will share their experiences in the varied fields of disaster, training and its mitigation. Various events during the exercise include a Table Top Exercise after the inaugural session to provide participants with an opportunity to review and discuss disaster response plans and sharing of best practices of one nation with the other. Other exercises such as Joint Field Training Exercise on earthquake disaster at Ghaziabad, Joint Field Training Exercise on Flood Rescue at Wazirabad will also be conducted.
Over the period 1996 to 2015, the BIMSTEC countries have lost 317,000 lives to disasters. In these disasters more than 16 million people in BIMSTEC countries have lost their homes and economic losses are also high and escalating.