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New Delhi:  Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Thursday stressed the requirement of diplomatic efforts in managing disasters arising out of floods and sought help from neighbouring countries for sharing Hydrological data on rivers.

"Diplomatic efforts are required in managing disasters arising out of floods...Hydrological data on rivers should be shared by the neighbouring countries and a consensus needs to be developed in this regard," he said while inaugurating the 13th Formation Day of National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) here.

Rajnath Singh said a beginning in this regard will be made during Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) Disaster Management Exercise to be conducted in New Delhi between October 10-13 and acronymed as BIMSTEC DMEx-2017.

In the first such exercise aimed at strengthening disaster management in South Asia, India's National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) will conduct drills with BIMSTEC countries including Bangladesh, India, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Bhutan and Nepal

This exercise will be a platform for sharing best practices on all aspects of disaster risk reduction, strengthening regional response and coordination for disaster management among the BIMSTEC member countries.

On this year's theme of ‘school safety', Rajnath Singh said the NDMA has covered a long distance in short time span of 13 years since its formation and that has established credibility of India across world.

He expressed happiness that India got appreciation due to NDMA's work at Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) meeting on Disaster Management held in Kyrgyzstan last month, where he had participated.

The Home Minister also said that he had moved a proposal to organise a Joint Urban Earthquake Search and Rescue exercise to improve collective preparedness and this proposal was accepted unanimously by all the members of the SCO.

"There could be differences on some issues among the countries, but we stand together in case of any disaster in the world...India had extended help to earthquake-hit Nepal in 2014 and also India had sent an NDRF team to Japan for help."

On the occasion, Rajnath Singh also released National Disaster Management Guidelines on Boat Safety and Cultural Heritage Sites and Precincts. A study report on "Tamil Nadu floods: Lessons learnt and best practices" was also released.

Union Home Secretary Rajiv Gauba said on the event that legal and institutional systems in place for disaster management should be further strengthened.

"Our climatic conditions and density of population make us prone to disasters," Gauba said, adding that 2 per cent of Gross Domestic Product is lost due to disasters.

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