Joint advisor, communications and IT, national disaster management authority (NDMA)
Are cities disaster-proof?
One of the biggest fears for a common man is to go to the police station and file an FIR. It is a big issue. Technology can enable e-filing of FIR.
Railway reservation is a classic example. People used to face many problems and it was also a source of corruption. But technology changed it all.
In devising a solution for pan-India, the biggest problem we are facing today is that each ministry has its own data which cannot be used by the other, because of interoperability issues.
Look at the Russian national emergency management system. It is a highly integrated system which starts at the district level. And they even have a full-fledged integrated ministry to operate it. Its operational centre is in Moscow. All the emergency management services are integrated through this.
Another major aspect of safer cities is its disaster preparedness. At NDMA, we have been doing major exercises to find the drawback and the gaps. Through safety drills, in various parts of the country, we have found huge gaps in both recovery phase and response system.
Coming to Delhi, we realise that we did not have enough number of ambulances if the city is struck by a major disaster. Also, when we brought the traffic to a halt, we did not have road space to move ambulances. In Delhi, even many hospitals are not disaster resistant.