Ahmedabad: Thursday: Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi today said that it requires collective courage and conviction to convert calamities into opportunities. He said the world is discussing Gujarat's post-earthquake experience and achievements about its massive reconstruction and rehabilitation operation with people's participation for a decade now.
Mr. Modi was inaugurating a three-day international conference on “Post Earthquake Reconstruction – Lessons Learnt and Way Forward” at Pandit Deendayal Petroleum University, being attended by experts from a dozen countries.
He said the state's rare success story, combining its human aspect and social responsibility, has invited global attention and many accolades. The natural calamities demand immediate rescue and relief operation but more than that it provided an opportunity for reconstruction on a much orderly manner afterwards. He invited global experts to see for themselves the Gujarat success story.

The Chief Minister recalled that the Gujarat Government had requested the Governors of different states as the Chancellors of universities in 2005 to send two researchers to study the Gujarat model for larger welfare of the mankind, but it evoked a very lukewarm response.

Referring to the recent tsunami-earthquake in Japan and its aftermath in the form of radiation from the nuclear plants, he said the authorities and the people of Japan too have shown an exemplary sense of duty. Nearer home, he said, flood in Surat was brought under control in 72 hours with people's participation.

Mr. Modi said that Gujarat had set up Gujarat State Disaster Management Authority (GSDMA), enacted the relevant Act, prepared a hazards mitigation atlas with the help of satellite space technology, a geostatic database of fighting equipment, insured students against calamity and even introduced disaster management as a syllabus in schools.

The Chief Minister on the occasion released a handbook on flood control in urban areas of Gujarat, prepared by NDMA.

Delivering the keynote address at the inaugural function, National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) Vice-Chairman M. Shashidhar Reddy said the Japan's tsunami, as well as Katrina and Rita cyclones in America forewarn us for preparedness. He gave outlines of the National Cyclone Mitigation Project being prepared by NDMA. He said that Gujarat too showed exemplary grit and determination for post-quake management as well as creating a public awareness for the same, a model for the world.

Gujarat's Minister for Revenue, Disaster Management and Roads & Buildings Minister Anandiben Patel said the state government has installed modern emergency response centres at major cities and emergency operation centres at district and even taluka towns. Several teams form foreign countries and different states in India have already visited GSDMA to study its activities. She said there is no cure for natural calamites but to be prepared for management.

Welcoming the delegates at the conference, GSDMA Chief Executive Officer (CEO) R. Bannerji said the earthquake in Kutch on January 26, 2001 was disastrous, but it helped Gujarat prepare against such devastating disasters on a war footing. He praised Chief Minister Narendra Modi for taking up the task in the right earnest.

Prominent among those present on the occasion included Pandit Deendayal Petroleum University Director P.K. Mishra and former Gujarat Chief Secretary Sudhir Mankad. GSDMA Additional CEO V. Thiruppugazh proposed a vote of thanks.

April 14, 2011

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