We should do a thorough risk assessment of different infrastructure classes: Kamal Kishore

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NEW DELHI: Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) organized 7th edition of its Regional Conference on Infrastructure Project Management with focus on Reducing Disaster Risks today.

Kamal Kishore, Member, National Disaster Management Authority, Government of India said “Disasters are not natural but are manmade. Disasters have been around forever but now we put people and assets in the way of natural calamities. Even though the instances of disasters has not risen but economic losses has increased substantially because of this.

We should do a thorough risk assessment of different infrastructure classes before starting Infrastructure projects. This exercise will make infrastructure projects more resilient to natural hazards. We should also take moderate natural disasters more seriously as they have a long term impact on the socio-economy of the country. He said India is highly vulnerable to natural disasters as 70% part of the nation is in category 4 zone for earthquakes and we need to ensure that the developers comply with the building and infrastructure codes presided by the Government.

He further stated that Regulation of Government laws and rules should be stricter to ensure that the Infrastructure is resilient to natural hazards. Natural disaster risks are already there. We can’t avoid them, but we can stop creation of new risks. Risk tolerance of airports in India needs to be higher so that there is no repeat of the Chennai airport which was flooded.

Kishore further stated that the Government of India has installed early warning systems for Tsunamis in the coastal areas which are prone to tsunamis. We do drills on a regular basis to ensure these systems are functional. Land use planning should be better in the cities along with proper drainage plans to ensure that the risk of flooding is mitigated optimally. Most cities in India are near river basins. Reservoir management of the water flowing from the damns affects flooding in the cities and should be planned to take into account the current precipitation levels.

Rahul Chaudhry, Vice Chairman, CII Delhi State, and; Chief Executive, Servel India Private Limited while delivering Welcome Remarks said that disasters can interrupt essential services, such as health care, electricity, water, sewage/garbage removal, transportation and communications. The interruption can seriously affect the health, social and economic networks of local communities and India.” He further said “Not all disasters, particularly natural disasters, can be prevented, but the risk of loss of life and injury can be mitigated with good evacuation plans, environmental planning and design standards. The Government is doing a lot of good work in this area.”

Bong-Kyu CHOI, Minister Counsellor, Embassy of the Republic of Korea in India said “India’s bright prospects will depend heavily on the kind of Infrastructure they plan and build in the future. Infrastructure is the foundation for any Nation’s economic upsurge.” He further said “India is planning aggressively for creation of new Infrastructure and the Government of Korea would be happy to partner with India on some of the key Infrastructure projects.”

Gurjot Bhatia, MD – Project Management, CBRE South Asia Pvt. Ltd. said, “As India is a growing country, there is more and more reliability on infrastructure. Any disaster that occurs has far reaching consequences including loss of life, and an impediment to the country’s growth. Due to our dynamic vulnerability and exposure to disasters, the challenges that emerge as a consequence of them, need a different approach. The real estate industry is one of the most affected by disasters and hence needs a comprehensive and long-term approach; from planning and execution, to continuous review of disaster management strategies. A strong governance framework, which brings in accountability and pins the responsibility on all stakeholders is also extremely important.“