NDRF Director General Atul Karwal said that every year, as per the NCRB data, about 38,000 drowning deaths are reported in the country. This is more than 100 deaths each day. We need to find ways to deal with this situation in the earnest
Drowning accounts for more than 100 deaths per day or about 38,000 fatal casualties in a year in the country and the NDRF has decided to minimise these incidents by preparing a national contingency plan and a mobile app, a senior officer said Friday.
On Thursday, sixteen people died, including 12 students and two teachers, when their picnic boat capsized in the Harni lake on the outskirts of Vadodara city in Gujarat.
”As soon as there is a blip on the online crime tracking system (CCTNS) about a drowning incident, we will get to know the police station and the state where the incident has taken place,” NDRF Director General Atul Karwal told PTI.
”We are taking the help of the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) for this task and are also looking at getting an in-house app that will work as a ‘heat map’ for NDRF teams.”
He said that the agency’s efforts to curtail such incidents include visits to the drowning spots and finding out solutions and safety measures with the help of local authorities.
Karwal said that every year, as per the NCRB data, about 38,000 drowning deaths are reported in the country. This is more than 100 deaths each day. We need to find ways to deal with this situation in the earnest, he said.
The DG said the agency has asked government cyber agencies like the National Informatics Centre (NIC) to prepare a mobile or desktop application so that it can respond to such situations promptly after taking the CCTNS data from the NCRB.
“In drowning-prone sites, we are planning to do things like putting up more warning signages about the depth of water, deploying volunteers trained in rescue efforts, and stationing personnel from the state disaster response force, or if there is a big event near or on the river, then the NDRF can be sent, he said. We can also plan to create some infrastructure by the water bodies so that such accidents are checked, he said.
Out of the about 38,000 drowning deaths, only few occurred during a cyclone or a similar large-scale disaster. Most drownings took place in ones and twos, both at isolated and hectic activity locations, across the country, Karwal said.
In June last year, the NDRF chief had said that out of the total annual deaths due to drowning, about two-thirds take place at the designated bathing ‘ghats’ or banks of rivers notified by the authorities.
Raised in 2006, the NDRF is the federal contingency force tasked to undertake relief and rescue operations before, during, and after a disaster strike.