The Delhi Police put the city on red alert last week over a possible terror attack by the Lashkar-e-Tayyaba (LeT). The National Security Guard (NSG), too, announced conducting mock drills at the city’s “hotspots” to combat a possible Paris-like attack in Delhi.
“The forces are always prepared. Our personnel are always combat-ready. They have been trained to face any kind of crisis. Mock drills are conducted to help our personnel to be prepared for the worst,” said J.K.S.Rawat, Deputy Inspector General (ADM), National Disaster Rescue Force (NDRF).
“The fire services have served the city long and good and have proved our mettle in times of crisis. No time is wasted by firefighters and they are ever ready to save as many lives as possible,” said A.K. Sharma, commissioner of Delhi Fire Service (DFS), about the DFS’ role in the city. Anjali Diwaker, project coordinator (east zone), Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA), said, “We have upped our game to equip Delhi with what it needs during crisis. Much effort has been put in to educate citizens of how much they can help the city with their collective efforts.”
Rakesh Kumar, also a coordinator at DDMA (east zone), said, “We have recently seen in the Chennai floods that citizens can do a lot by helping each other. For some time now, we, too, have been conducting mock drills and have educated residents in the area that they are equally capable of protecting themselves and their neighbours too.”
Apart from the terror attacks, the geological position of the city, too, makes it imperative for the authorities to stay on alert at all times.
“The city is choking but apart from respiratory and other health hazards to the people and the impact of the poor weather on crops, the capital has no immediate threat of any major environmental crisis like a flood or heavy downpour. But again, we cannot forget how prone the capital is to earthquakes,” said Dr L.S. Rathore, Director General of Meteorology, Indian Meteorological Department. K.T. Ravindran, an international expert on urban design and planning, said, “The city’s structure is certainly not prepared to withstand any major crisis like a flood or an earthquake. We are continuously building our structures on the river bed. There are four power houses on the river bed. That is not at all safe. About how a major earthquake can destroy the capital has been written about a number of times. Delhi’s best bet is a strong reinforcement system.”