Two new battalions of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), to be based in Haridwar and Mysore, have been sanctioned by the central government.
NDRF, a force raised by bringing on deputation personnel from paramilitary forces, is the first responder in case of any natural or man-made disaster and at present 10 battalions of the force are deployed in various parts of the country for such emergencies.
"Two more battalions for the force have been sanctioned by the Union Home Ministry. They will be culled out from the border guarding Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB)," NDRF Director General P M Nair told reporters here.
"Looking at geographical and disaster vulnerability profile requirements, the two new contingents will be based at Uttar Pradesh's Haridwar and Karnataka's Mysore. We are looking for land now," he said.
Each NDRF battalion has a strength of 1,149 personnel and these men are armed with gadgets and devices used for mitigating and rescuing people affected by disasters.
Nair said the force is also preparing a blueprint to include a small women component in its battalions for use in operations.
At present the 10 NDRF battalions are based in Guwahati (Assam), Kolkata (West Bengal), Cuttack (Odisha), Vellore (Tamil Nadu), Pune (Maharashtra), Gandhinagar (Gujarat), Bhatinda (Punjab), Ghaziabad (Uttar Pradesh), Patna (Bihar) and Vijaywada (Andhra Pradesh).
The government is also mulling to raise and base the 13th battalion of the force in the next year, he said.
The DG said an 'All India National Disaster Response System' with active participation from state governments will also be launched soon.