The Indian Navy’s Western Naval Command (WNC) is all set up to provide emergency response to the areas in and around India’s financial capital Mumbai during the cyclone Nisarga that will hit Mumbai coast today. In addition to cyclone Nisarga, the WNC has kept its many station units on standby for the upcoming monsoon season. Talking to The Daily Guardian about WNC’s preparations, Vice Admiral R.B. Pandit, the Chief of Staff (COS) of Western Naval Command said, “A Cyclonic Storm Nisarga brewing in the Arabian Sea is headed for Maharashtra coast with the city of Mumbai likely to be in its swathe. Consequently, units in the Western Naval Command have been ‘Stood To’ and brought up in readiness to respond. Multiple rescue and diving teams equipped with boats, rescue gear, medical component etc have pre-deployed in specifically identified more vulnerable areas, ready to respond to any situation.” In addition to Maharashtra, the effect of cyclone Nisarga is likely to be on the other coastal states too which fall under WNC’s area of operation, the WNC COS Vice Admiral Pandit further explained, “ The Western Naval Command in other coastal states, from Gujarat to Karnataka, the naval areas commanders in Porbandar, Goa and Karwar are in touch with State administration and NDRF authorities, to co-ordinate any assistance in rescue and relief that may be required. Our aircraft are standby for recce and move teams as and when required from Goa. The Western Fleet ships have Disaster Relief or HADR Bricks as we call them to rapidly arrive in areas as and where required”.
The Indian Navy has always been at the forefront of every effort to provide assistance to citizens in times of natural calamities and other contingencies requiring assistance for rescue and relief of the affected populace. With the monsoons imminent over the West Coast of India, the WNC has this time too mobilised adequate resources for flood relief, rescue and diving assistance in the event of excessive rainfall and flooding of both, urban and rural areas in coordination with the respective state governments on the West coast. In Mumbai, the Maharashtra Naval Area is on standby with five flood rescue teams and three diving teams throughout the monsoon season. These teams are stationed at various naval areas across the city to enable early response over a larger area. These teams are fully equipped and have been trained for rescue operations. Recce of known floodprone areas has been undertaken and all necessary preparations are in place. Similar arrangements have been set up within the Karwar Naval Area, the Goa Naval Area as well as Gujarat Daman and Diu Naval Areas. The respective Area and Station Commanders are in touch with the State authorities, NDRF and SDRF to be able to respond to a crisis situation in the shortest possible time. With the cyclonic storm Nisarga brewing in the Arabian Sea, all teams have been put on alert and are in readiness to respond to any requirement of Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) during the storm period. Ships of the Western Fleet have been also embarked with Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) bricks to provide succour to coastal areas inundated due to heavy rain. In addition, naval Dornier aircraft and helicopters at various Naval Air Stations at Mumbai, Goa and Porbandar are ready at short notice to ferry teams inaccessible during floods as also rescue stranded personnel. The respective Area and Station Commanders are in touch with the State authorities, NDRF and SDRF to be able to respond to a crisis situation in the shortest possible time.