The National Disaster Response Force has deployed teams in several states ahead of the monsoon season this year, in a measure to reduce response time in case of severe weather, PTI reported. This is the first time that the central force has been pre-deployed.

The central force has positioned relief and rescue teams in four vulnerable states – Uttarakhand, Jharkhand, Assam and Uttar Pradesh – and alerted its squads at more than a dozen locations across the country. Teams that are deployed permanently in some parts of India have been asked to stay alert and respond swiftly if needed. These regions include Assam, Tripura, Mizoram, West Bengal, Sikkim, Odisha, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Delhi, Bihar, Telangana, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh.

The NDRF has trained more than 10,000 personnel and is equipped with more than 100 boats and other life-saving equipment. "They can also be airlifted if required. While we have been undertaking these drills every year. This time, it has been ensured that teams are proactively pre-positioned," NDRF Director General OP Singh told PTI.

The decision to pre-deploy the central force was made during an annual conference in New Delhi in April. NDRF officials have also been coordinating with the state governments to minimise reaction time in cases of flash floods or landslides.