NDRF, BMC continue to look for base in Mumbai

The National Disaster Response Force has helped the Berhampur Municipal Corporation (BMC) fight disasters in Mumbai, India, for the last three years, but it has yet to be given a permanent base.

In 2012, India's National Disaster Management Authority recommended that NDRF teams be placed in Chennai, Kolkata, Delhi and Mumbai to help the local governments to stop CBRN disasters. Despite two years of searching, the NDRF and BMC are continuing to scout locations for a permanent base, Indian Express reports.

BMC recently offered the NDRF an unused and dilapidated barrack.

"The barracks are in bad shape and construction will take some time, but the site is almost finalized," Alok Avasthy, a commandant with the NDRF's 5th Battalion, said, according to Indian Express.

Mahesh Narvekar, the head of the BMC's Disaster Management Cell, said the BMC is proceeding cautiously on the plot of land because it was previously allotted for a civilian training center. He said the search will continue for an appropriate site, Indian Express reports.

"The NDRF wants an entire structure to itself to set up living quarters for officers and personnel," Narvekar said, according to Indian Express. "The structure should also have a mess hall. Apart from this, they want parking space and an open ground to exercising. Acquiring so much land in Mumbai is very difficult. That said, the NDRF is in Mumbai at our invitation and we will find a suitable place for them to set up base."