An annual Joint Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) exercise is being conducted by the Indian Navy at Karwar from 18-20 May 2017, under the aegis of the Western Naval Command. The overall coordination of the exercise is by the Headquarters Integrated Defence Staff and Integrated Headquarters, Ministry of Defence (Navy) at New Delhi. Such joint HADR exercises are conducted annually involving all agencies associated with Disaster Relief Operations to validate their disaster management plans.
This year’s exercise, code-named “KARAVALI KARUNYA” meaning ‘Assistance to Coast of Karnataka’, will see the Armed Forces and the Central and State Government agencies working together towards providing relief in a post-Tsunami scenario.
The exercise is planned in two phases; Phase One for actions to be taken prior the Tsunami hitting the coast, and Phase Two involving actions to be taken after the Tsunami has hit and devastated the coast.
A number of activities will form a part of this year’s exercise. A seminar cum Table-Top Exercise is being organised wherein experiences will be shared by those who have been associated with such large scale disasters in the past. Also, existing Standard Operating Procedures of various stakeholders will be reviewed and validated. A Static display showcasing modern high-tech equipment to manage the aftermath of a Tsunami will be displayed by various agencies. The static display will also include helicopters from IAF, Indian Navy and Indian Coast Guard. A simulated cleaning up and operationalisation of a harbour post the Tsunami, using aircraft, a pollution control ship and survey ships will also be demonstrated during the exercise. A camp for housing Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) is being set up at Rabindranath Tagore Beach jointly by the District Administration, the Indian Army and the Indian Navy. This Camp will be open to public on 18 and 19 May 17.
The exercise is aimed at synergising Civil-Military disaster relief efforts post a natural disaster. In addition to the three Defence Services and Coast Guard, teams from Ministry of Defence, Ministry of Home Affairs, National Disaster Management Authority, National Disaster Response Force, State Executive Committee (SEC), Office of Commissioner of Relief, District Disaster Management Authority, Red Cross, National Institute of Disaster Management, NGOs, representatives of Local Municipality, Police, Medical, Fire and emergency services and NCC Karwar will participate in this year’s HADR Exercise. Two Observers each from Bangladesh, Maldives, Myanmar and Sri Lanka will also be arriving at Karwar for the exercise.