Delhi for quick implementation of agreement with Dhaka
India has called for quick implementation of the memorandum of understanding on cooperation in the field of disaster management resilience and mitigation.
The MoU was signed during Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to Bangladesh in March.
The request, which was made by Indian External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar in a letter to Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen, comes weeks after the Indian state of Maharashtra saw heavy rainfall that caused flooding and landslide, leaving nearly 150 people dead and scores missing.
Bangladesh rightly pointed out that the entire world, in particular the South Asian region, is witnessing frequent climate-related disasters, Jaishankar said in the letter.
"Capacity building, learning from each other's best practices, as well as extending support to each other is the need of the hour," he added.
The two countries will enhance cooperation in the field of relief, response and reconstruction upon request from either party in the event of a major natural or man-made disaster in their respective territories, as per the letter of intent.
It also speaks of exchanging remote sensing and other scientific data, best practices on disaster response, recovery, mitigation and capacity building to ensure disaster tolerance.
The letter of intent also spoke of enhancing advanced information technology, early warning systems, remote sensing, navigation services and real-time data sharing to strengthen disaster preparedness, response and mitigation skills.
The two sides will set up a communication centre to conduct activities.
As per the letter of intent, Bangladesh would be joining the Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure, a partnership of governments, the United Nations, multilateral lenders and the private sector to promote the resilience of new and existing infrastructure systems to climate and disaster risks.
Jaishankar said these mechanisms will help the two countries remain better prepared for natural disasters in the future, according to the Bangladesh foreign ministry.
Asked about the matter, Disaster Management Secretary Md Mohsin said his ministry has already been named the focal point. An action plan will be prepared to implement the letter of intent, he added.
"As neighbouring countries, we face similar types of disasters like flood, cyclone and landslides. Sharing real-time data on weather and water flow can greatly help us. Both the countries can also help in rescue operations in the cases of disaster," Mohsin said.