KOCHI: The four-day Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) ‘Chakravath’ exercise conducted jointly by the Southern Naval Command and the State Disaster Management Authority concluded at the BTP Jetty here on Sunday. As the annual exercise hosted by the state for the first time drew to a close, the organisers sounded upbeat on the drills performed during Chakravath proving handy during disasters.
For the several thousand visitors who frequented the nearly 60 stalls set up at the Sagara Hall of the Cochin Port Trust — the main venue of the event — it proved a jaw-dropping experience as they received a wealth of information on relief and rescue operations conducted during natural and man-made calamities.
According to a Naval officer in charge of one of the stalls, the departments concerned are well-equipped to tackle any situation. Be it on the high seas or in the bowels of the earth, the array of hi-tech machines and the state-of-the-art equipment showcased at the exhibition helped to allay the doubts among the public regarding the preparedness of the Disaster Management Departments.
The practical demonstration of the safety and rescue devices, special HADR tools and equipment, relief measures, standard operating procedures during a disaster, roles played by various organisations and agencies left the visitors reassured. The main attraction of the stalls was the deep-sea search and diving equipment installed by the Diving School of the Southern Naval Command and the specially trained search and rescue dog squad of the NDRF team.
Other agencies like the CIFT, KUFOS (Kerala University of Fisheries and Ocean Studies), BPCL, FACT Cochin Division and the Factories and Boilers Department had also set up stalls.
The Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camp established by the Army and the Field Hospital jointly set up by the Navy, Army and the Goverment General Hospital here, gave the visitors a peek into the lives of the refugees.