RK Jain, Member, NDMA or National Disaster Management Authority set-up in 2005 talks to 'Policy Pulse' about the its efforts and role to mitigate and manage disasters
Every year we see a repeat of almost the same disasters - big and small - in many states, be it floods in Assam and Uttarakhand; water logging in Chennai, Mumbai and Delhi; deaths due to mosquito-related diseases etc. What ways does NDMA have to monitor State plans, and in what ways can it pull up states for their poor disaster management strategies?
NDMA has released National Disaster Management Guidelines for preparation of SDMP in July 2007 to be followed by the States. NDMA has been regularly following up with States/UTs and offering advice to States/UTs through letters, video conferences, workshops/review meetings and visits to States/UTs with regard to preparation and updation of SDMPs.
As a result of regular follow up with States/UTs, 35 States/UTs have prepared their SDMP. These are (1) Andhra Pradesh (2) Arunachal Pradesh, (3) Assam, (4) Bihar, (5) Chhattisgarh, (6) Goa, (7) Gujarat (8) Haryana, (9) Himachal Pradesh, (10) J&K (11) Jharkhand (12) Karnataka, (13) Kerala (14) Madhya Pradesh (15) Maharashtra (16) Manipur (17) Meghalaya (18) Mizoram, (19) Nagaland, (20) Odisha,(21) Punjab, (22) Rajasthan (23) Sikkim (24) Tamil Nadu (25) Tripura (26) Uttarakhand (27) Uttar Pradesh (28) West Bengal (29) Andaman & Nicobar Islands (30) Chandigarh (this SDMP is yet to be shared with NDMA) (31) Dadra & Nagar Haveli (32) Daman and Diu (33) Delhi (34) Lakshadweep and (35) Puducherry. Telengana is in the process of preparation of its plan.
NDMA has also issued 22 guidelines on various hazard specific and thematic subjects to be followed by Ministries/Departments of Government of India and SDMAs for the purpose of integrating the measures for prevention of disaster or the mitigation of its effects in their development plans and projects.
Recently, NDMA has also prepared the country’s first ever National Disaster Management Plan which has been aligned broadly with the goals and priorities set out in the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction.
The Vision of the Plan is to "Make India disaster resilient, achieve substantial disaster risk reduction, and significantly decrease the losses of life, livelihoods, and assets economic, physical, social, cultural and environmental - by maximizing the ability to cope with disasters at all levels of administration as well as among communities". Empowering women, marginalised communities, and differently abled persons this issue has been specifically addressed into the National Disaster Management Plan.
The Plan has also incorporated a Chapter on Strengthening Disaster Risk Governance. The generalised responsibility matrix given in this section summarises the themes for strengthening Disaster Risk Governance and specifies agencies at the Centre and State with their respective roles.
The matrix has six thematic areas in which Central and State governments have to take actions to strengthen disaster risk governance: •Mainstream and integrate DRR and Institutional Strengthening • Capacity Development • Promote Participatory Approaches • Work with Elected Representatives • Grievance Redress Mechanism • Promote Quality Standards, Certifications, and Awards for Disaster Risk Management. In this way, NDMA provides guidance to all the States to strengthen their disaster management strategies from time to time.