Andhra Pradesh government is planning to set up a State Disaster Response Force on the lines of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), which will be stationed at Hyderabad, Visakhapatnam and Tirupati. “Discussions are on and a meeting has been convened with the Chief Secretary on forming the SDRF. The proposed SDRF will have separate force, which will be set up at Hyderabad, Tirupati and Visakhapatnam centres,” Disaster Management Commissioner T Radha said. “The SDRF is likely to have 120 personnel. New persons will be recruited for the force and discussions for allotting/ identifying land for the proposed SDRF centres in these three major cities of Andhra Pradesh are still being worked out,” he said. According to the Disaster Management officials, SDRF personnel will be trained and provided with equipment by NDRF to effectively deal with natural and man-made disasters. “There was a need felt to establish SDRF centres at Hyderabad as it is the state capital, Tirupati due to pilgrimage rush and at Visakhapatnam, which is having port and several industrial units,” they explained.
Apart from the SDRF, the AP government had agreed to the request of the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) to allot two acres for locating a company of the NDRF in Hyderabad and the matter of allotting the land in the campus of Andhra Pradesh Police Academy (APPA) here was in the final stage, officials said. NDMA member K M Singh during his visit to AP last month had suggested the state government to set up three SDRF centres by raising new force (consisting of 110-120 personnel). A permanent NDRF battalion comprising 1,149 personnel is already stationed at Mangalagiri in Guntur district to provide round-the-clock rescue and relief operations during natural calamities that will also ensure speedy deployment of rescue teams to coastal areas during natural calamities or disasters. The NDRF at Guntur is divided into six companies and one company was to be drawn for the wing of NDRF at Hyderabad, officials added.