Disaster Management Act 2005 provides for the effective management of disasters in the country.
The act extends to the whole of India.
What do you understand by the term “Disaster” and “Disaster Management”?
“Disaster” refers to a catastrophe, mishap, calamity, or grave occurrence in any area that results in a significant loss of life or human suffering, damage to, and destruction of, property, damage to, or degradation of, environment.
It is of a nature or magnitude that is beyond the capacity of the community of the affected area to deal with. It may be caused by natural causes, human-made causes, accidents, or negligence.
“Disaster management” refers to the ongoing, comprehensive process of organizing, coordinating, and carrying out actions that are required for:
- Prevention of danger or threat of any disaster;
- Preparedness to deal with any disaster;
- Prompt response to any threatening disaster situation or disaster;
- Assessing the severity or magnitude of effects of any disaster;
- Mitigation or reduction of risk of any disaster or its severity or consequences;
- Evacuation, rescue, and relief;
- Rehabilitation and reconstruction;
Establishment of the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA)
National Disaster Management Authority is a statutory body, that was established under Disaster Management Act 2005 for disaster management in India.
Evolution of NDMA
After the Gujarat earthquake, the government recognized the importance of Disaster Management and established a High-Power Committee in August 1999.
The function of the High-Power committee was to make recommendations on the preparation of Disaster Management plans and suggest effective mitigation mechanisms.
After that, on 23 December 2005, the Government enacted the Disaster Management Act, which envisaged the creation of a National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), and State Disaster Management Authorities (SDMAs) to implement a holistic and integrated approach to Disaster Management in India.
The National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) is the apex body for Disaster Management in India which is headed by the Prime Minister of India.
National Authority shall consist of the following:
- The Prime Minister of India, who shall be the ex officio Chairperson of the National Authority.
- Other members, not exceeding nine, are to be nominated by the Chairperson of the National Authority.
National Authority shall meet as and when necessary and at such time and place as the Chairperson may think fit and the Chairperson presides over the meetings of the National Authority.
Powers and Functions
National Authority shall have the responsibility for laying down the policies, plans, and guidelines for disaster management for ensuring a timely and effective response to the disaster. The National Authority may:
- It lay down policies and plans for disaster management
- Approves the National Plan
- Coordinates the enforcement and implementation of the policy and plan related to disaster management
- Recommends provision of funds for the purpose of mitigation
- Provides such support to other countries affected by major disasters
- Approves plans prepared by the Ministries or Departments in accordance with the National Plan
- Lays down guidelines that needed to be followed by the State Authorities in drawing up the State Plan
- Lays down guidelines to be followed by the different Ministries or Departments of the Government for the purpose of integrating the measures for the prevention of disaster
- Laying down broad policies and guidelines for the functioning of the National Institute of Disaster Management
- Taking such other measures for the prevention of disaster, or the mitigation, or preparedness and capacity building for dealing with the threatening disaster situation or disaster
The National Plan is prepared by the National Executive Committee having regard to the National Policy and in consultation with the State Governments and expert bodies or organizations in the field of disaster management to be approved by the National Authority.
The National Plan includes measures to be taken for the prevention of disasters, or the mitigation of their effects, preparedness, and capacity building to effectively respond to any threatening disaster situations or disaster.
Establishment of State Disaster Management Authority
Every State Government under sub-section (1) of section 3, by notification, establishes a State Disaster Management Authority for the State.
The State Authority consists of the following members, namely:
- The Chief Minister of the State, who shall be ex officio Chairperson.
- Other members, not exceeding eight, to be nominated by the Chairperson of the State Authority
Powers and Functions of State Authority
As per the provisions of the Act, a State Authority shall have the responsibility for laying down policies and plans for disaster management in the State. The State Authority may:
Lays down the State disaster management policy
Approves the State Plan in accordance with the guidelines laid down by the National Authority
Approves the disaster management plans prepared by the Government of the State
Lays down guidelines of the State for the purposes of integration of measures for the prevention of disasters and mitigation in their development plans and projects
Recommends provision of funds for preparedness measures
Review the measures being taken for mitigation, capacity building, and preparedness by the Government of the State and issue such guidelines as may be necessary
The State Executive Committee shall draught the State Plan in accordance with the National Authority’s guidelines and following consultation with the local, district, and people’s representatives as the State Executive Committee may deem appropriate.
The State Plan prepared by the State Executive Committee under sub-section (2) shall be approved by the State Authority. The State Plan includes:
- The vulnerability of different parts of the State to different forms of disasters
- The manner in which the mitigation measures shall be integrated with the development plans and projects
- The capacity-building and preparedness measures
- The measures to be adopted for the prevention and mitigation of disasters
- The roles and responsibilities of different Departments of the Government of the State in responding to any threatening disaster situation or disaster
Article Written By: Priti Raj