NDRF Collaborates with ITBP to Deploy Rescue Teams along China Border

The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) is partnering with the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) to deploy rescue teams in high-altitude regions along the India-China border. The initiative aims to prepare NDRF personnel for disaster response operations in the Himalayan ranges, such as avalanches, landslides, and glacial lake outburst floods (GLOFs). The collaboration is driven by concerns raised by experts regarding the anticipated increase in disasters in the Himalayas due to climate change and human interventions.

Deployment Plan and Discussions

NDRF Director General Atul Karwal stated that discussions are underway with the ITBP to enable NDRF personnel to be stationed in forward areas alongside the border guarding force. The plan involves establishing small teams of rescuers that can be co-located at ITBP outposts in the states of Jammu and Kashmir, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, and Sikkim. The NDRF is also consulting with the Border Security Force (BSF) and the Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB), which guard borders with Pakistan, Nepal, and Bhutan, respectively.

Long-Range Patrols with ITBP Troops

As part of the preparation process, NDRF personnel are undertaking long-range patrols with ITBP troops along the India-China Line of Actual Control (LAC). These patrols help the rescuers familiarize themselves with the terrain and conditions before getting stationed at high-altitude locations in the Himalayas.

Collaboration with Other Border Guarding Forces

Apart from the ITBP, the NDRF is also in discussion with other border guarding forces, such as the BSF and SSB, to explore the possibility of co-locating small teams of rescuers at their outposts in the four states mentioned earlier. This collaboration aims to enhance the disaster response capabilities in the region and ensure prompt action during emergencies.

Action Plan and Permanent Placement

In 2023, an action plan was formulated to deploy NDRF rescuers for managing natural and man-made disasters in the fragile mountain ranges of India’s north and northeast regions. The NDRF has decided to permanently station small teams at higher altitudes in four areas: Jammu and Kashmir, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, and Sikkim. Once established, these teams can be promptly mobilized in case of emergencies.

Importance of Pre-Acclimatization

NDRF DG Atul Karwal emphasized the importance of pre-acclimatization for the rescuers. Even if the rescuers are stationed in a place like Srinagar (in Jammu and Kashmir), they cannot be immediately airlifted in the event of a disaster in higher regions as they are not acclimatized. Pre-acclimatization throughout the year is essential for the rescuers to be effective in their operations.


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