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Civil Defence - Background
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Civil Defence setup in Jammu & Kashmir

The Civil Defence in the J&K State is a well established and functional organization. At present 19 towns (09 in Kashmir, 10 in Jammu) are covered under this scheme. Till year 2005 only 10 Civil Defence towns were existing in J&K State which include:

1. Srinagar
2. Budgam
3. Uri
4. Kargil
5. Jammu
6. Udhampur
7. Samba
8. Kathua
9. Rajouri
10. Poonch

In the year 2005, the State Government accorded parallel sanction vide Govt. order No. Home-199 of 2005 dated 24-05-2005 for 09 more Civil Defence towns which are as under:

1. Leh
2. Kupwara
3. Baramulla
4. Anantnag
5. Awantipora
6. Doda
7. Akhnoor
8. Nowshera
9. Sunderbani

In each Civil Defence town, there is one Dy.Controller Civil Defence assisted by the trained paid staff and Civil Defence wardens/volunteers. A full fledged Civil Defence control room is functional in all the Civil Defence towns. The warning system and communication network both wire and wireless are functional in these towns. Besides Ambulances, Rescue vehicles have also been provided to all the Civil Defence towns of J&K State. The Civil Defence wardens/volunteers have been imparted Civil Defence training and also the advanced/ specialized training on disaster management/ Waterman-ship etc. are imparted to them in the central training institute of Homeguards / Civil Defence in J&K and also in National Civil Defence College Nagpur and Central Training Institute Banglore/ Hyderabad. The working of Civil Defence towns is being supervised by the Dy.Inspector General of Police Homeguards / Civil Defence J&K under the direction of Inspector General of Police Homeguards/ Civil Defence J&K and overall control of Director Civil Defence J&K (Director General of Police J&K).

Civil Defence includes any measures, not amounting to actual combat, for affording protection to any person, property, place or thing in India or any part of the territory thereof against any hostile attack whether from air, land, sea or other places or for operating/mitigating the effect of any such attack. Civil Defence is to be organized as an integral part of the defence of the country. Civil Defence aims at saving life, minimizing damage to the property, maintains continuity of industrial production and keeping the public morale high in the event of a hostile attack.

The Civil Defence policy of the government of India until 1962 was confined to making the States/Union Territories conscious of the need of civil protection measures and to keep in readiness Civil protection plans for major cities and towns under the Emergency Relief Organization (ERO) scheme. The Chinese aggression in 1962 and Indo-Pak conflict in 1965 led to a considerable rethinking on the policy and the overall scope of Civil Defence. As a result, the Civil Defence legislature was enacted in 1968.

Though the Civil Defence Act. 1968 is applicable throughout the country; organisation is raised only in such areas and zooms which are considered vulnerable to enemy attacks. The revision and renewal of categorized Civil Defence towns is being done at regular intervals, with the level of perceived threat remaining the fundamental criteria for cauterization. At present, Civil Defence activities are restricted 225 categorized towns, spread over 35 states/union territories.

Apart from carrying out training and rehearsal/demonstration of Civil Defence measures during peace time, Civil Defence volunteers are also deployed on a voluntary basis in various constructive and nation building activities, including providing assistance to the administration in undertaking social and welfare services and in the prevention/mitigation of natural/man-made disasters as well as in post-disaster response and relief operations, Civil Defence training is conducted by the State Government/Union territories in three tiers, i.e., at he local/town level, State level and National level Nation Civil Defence College Nagpur, a subordinate training establishment of the Ministry, conducts various courses in Civil Defence and Disaster Relief Management.

 

Training the Civil Defence Force

During times of war and emergencies, the Civil Defence organisation has the vital role of guarding the hinterland, supporting the Armed forces, mobilizing the citizens and helping civil administration for

 

  1. Saving life and property
  2. Minimizing damage
  3. Maintaining continuity in production centers
  4. Raising public morale

 

The concept of Civil Defence over the years has shifted from management of damage against conventional weapons to also including threat perceptions against Nuclear weapons, Biological & Chemical warfare and Environmental disasters.

What is Civil Defence?

Civil Defence is an organisation of the citizens to minimise the effects of any enemy action. In clear terms it is organised to give service to victims and take action to minimise damage to human life and property from enemy bombing and land and naval attacks. It aims at restoring quick normalcy in essential services, industrial units and other walks of life, after an attack.

Why is Civil Defence necessary?

In spite of our country's efforts to follow a policy of peace, amity and friendship at home and abroad our country is recently subjected to a naked aggression by an unprincipled enemy. That may happen again whether we choose it or not. We may again be caught unawares. We must therefore, be prepared with plans for protection of life and property in such an eventuality. Our best insurance for peace is to prepare for war and to be ready for all contingencies. We must also so build up our strength as to prevent an enemy to risk war with us. Our Civil Defence must be in a fortified position as our military potential.

Can civilians be bombed?

Civilians are the best potential of a nation. The will of the people to defend their freedom, their honour and their way of life plays a decisive role in achieving victory, howsoever long the struggle may last. To bring about the defeat of the enemy, the civilians have to work harder, produce more, spend less, remain united and help in all ways to add to our national and military strength. That's why an enemy will strike at our large towns and industrial or Commercial Centres. The enemy knows that unless he breaks our spirit and destroys our means of production, he cannot win a war against us.

Why is the will of Citizens to fight back so important?

The Citizens in war time need as much discipline to keep their Spirits high as Jawans in trenches facing the enemy. Strong, determined and organised Civil Defence boosts our morale, prevents panic and protects population and means of production. Strong Civil Defence is the highest insurance for victory.

Can our cities be bombed?

Yes! Air Force has grown from strength to strength. No amount of radar, interceptors, ack-ack guns and" other air-defence measures can be adequate to prevent at least some enemy planes getting through our air defence screen and bomb our cities and vital plants. We must stop them where we can. Where we can not stop them, we must be prepared to minimise the damage they do. We must so discipline ourselves as to be able to quickly restore to normalcy our production, economy and social life disrupted by the enemy action.

The Effects

Nearly all those who survive an enemy attack would be affected; many will lose their homes and personal possessions, other will be unemployed because of the destruction of factories, stores, offices or due to suspension of operations because of shortage of essential supplies. The destruction of transportation, communication and public utilities would make such disasters more acute. Families would be separated and disrupted through the death or injury of some members. Many children along with the aged, handicapped and others would find themselves suddenly without support, protection and care.

Measures to reduce effects.

To deal with the problems of air raids, the following services are organised and designated as the Civil Defence Crops.

Warden Service

This Service is a link between the people and the Civil Defence Organisation. Wardens advise people on Civil Defence matters. Wardens are provided for each mohalla or locality. In' fact, it is this service which activates the Civil Defence Organisation after an air raid to provide relief and succor to the affected area. House fire Parties are also organised by this service to fight local fires. Wardens report damage to Sub-control centre and organises first aid and rescue work until regular Civil Defence Services arrive.

Casuality Service

This service comprises Medical and First Aid. A large number of casualties have to be attended to on the spot and this is done by First Aid parties. The first aid posts, located at fixed places, have medical officer to attend to the patients. Ambulances are used in the transporting the seriously wounded promptly to the hospitals.

Control & Communicaton Service

The damage in any part of the town is quickly reported by the warden to sub-control or control Centres where senior officers like the District Magistrate \ Civil Defence Controller or their senior representatives are present.

The sub-control centre orders out the various relief parties from the Depots to the scenes of damage. Contact is constantly maintained by the Sub-Control Centres with the Office-in-charge of Operations, so that additional help is promptly arranged. In fact control is actually a nerve centre of the Civil Defence.

Rescue Services

Various technical services needed for Civil Defence, namely, rescue services, repair and demolition squad, salvage organisation and corpse disposal are organised for specific duties. The rescue services are provided by the Homeguards and consists of rescue parties to carry succour to victims trapped under debris, in damaged buildings, rescue persons from high buildings, give necessary first aid to such casualties at the spot and to recover the dead. Repair and demolition squads carry out minor repairs to damaged essential services like water mains and carry out demolition of dangerous structures and remove debris. The function of other two services are self - explanatory.

Auxiliary Fire Fighting

In addition to regular Fire Service, Auxiliary Fire services of volunteers are organised with trailer pumps as their equipment to deal with large number of small fires. They are trained by regular fire services.

Welfare Services

The task of Welfare Services is to assist the local authorities to discharge Civil Defence functions, such as evacuation, billeting, care of homeless, emergency feeding and sheltering, clothing and information and registration. Under these services, Rest centres are run where displaced persons are given a temporary home.

Head Quarters Services

Headquarters service is responsible for the planning, command and control of the Civil Defence Organisation, dissemination of air raid warnings, arrangements for black out, etc.

Training Service

This service is responsible for providing necessary training to the Civil Defence Volunteers manning different services. Supply ServiceSupply Service plans, organises and stockpiles the necessary equipment and is responsible for its proper and quick distribution at the time of need.

How do you help in Civil Defence

Remember what you can do in Civil Defence and how well and how soon you do it, can make a real difference in war. The price we pay now is the price of freedom.

(i) Prepare your home and family against enemy attack.
(ii) Begin your training in one of the active Civil Defence Services.

Approach your local Civil Defence Officer and enroll.

Family Civil Defence

Make sure that everybody in your family is familiar with Air Raid
and Raiders passed signals. Two minutes warbling note, Or intermittent blast, on sirens or hooters, will denote air raid signal; while two minutes, continuous hooting will denote Raiders passed.
If you are physically fit and technical minded, join the rescue service or the Auxiliary Fire Service.
If you are a doctor, a nurse or a first-aider join the casualty service. If you are a teacher or a professor, join the Civil Defence Training Service.
If you are a driver, join the Depot and Transport Service.
If you are a welfare worker, join the welfare service.
If you are a radio operator or telephone operator, join the Communication Service.

It shows that there is a place for everyone of you in the Civil Defence organisation of a town. So, lose no time.

Our best insurance for peace is constant preparedness and readiness to peace all contingencies. As the late Prime Minister, Smt. Indira Gandhi, has said: "The protection of the country is not only the responsibility of the armed forces but also the people."
Our people have made untold sacrifices to achieve independence, to retain our hard-won freedom, greater sacrifices may be needed. Always remember that and do your part in defending the freedom of your motherland by joining Civil Defence.

Click here to download the enrollment form.