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Q. National Disaster Management Plan: Discuss the recently released India’s first ever National Disaster Management Plan.
Jun 15, 2016 Related to : GS Paper-3

Ans :

In news- 

Recently Prime Minister has released India’s first ever national plan for disaster management.

Introduction-

National Disaster Management Plan was prepared with objective to make India disaster resilient and it aim to reduce the loss of lives and assets significantly. The plan is based on the priority themes namely: understanding disaster risk, improving disaster risk governance, investing in disaster risk reduction through structural and non-structural measures and disaster preparedness.

Key features of the plan-

  • It covers all phases of disaster management: prevention, mitigation, response and recovery.
  • It provides for horizontal and vertical integration among all the agencies and departments of the Centre and State Governments.
  • To strengthen Disaster Risk Governance it outlined the roles and responsibilities of all levels of Government right up to Panchayat and Urban Local Body level in a matrix format.
  • The plan has a regional approach, which will be beneficial not only for disaster management but also for development planning.
  • To prepare communities to cope with disasters, it emphasizes on a greater need for Information, Education and Communication activities.
  • The plan also wants the media to respect the dignity and privacy of affected people

Analysis-

  • The National Disaster Management Plan (NDMP) provides a framework and direction to the government agencies for all phases of disaster management cycle. Coordinated efforts in all phases will reduce the damages in the event of disaster.
  • The NDMP earmarks important responsibilities of the Centre and states. The onus is on all stakeholders to act as per the plan. Now administrators can no longer get away with pinning the blame on unforeseen calamities.
  • The NDMP demands that at every tier of government, the responsible functionaries should be prepared for every possible disaster. Being prepared in advance is critical to minimise the damages and losses.
  • NDMP also requires adequate investments in techniques that mitigate disaster risks and call upon administrators to be prepared for an effective response which will help in recovery, rehabilitation and reconstruction.
  • As most states and districts have prepared their plans, the national plan that was supposed to guide this process at the sub-national level was missing. Now NDMP closes a critical gap in our disaster management system that exists earlier.

Suggestions-

  • The plans need to adopt a clear and practical roadmap. Instead of generic, it must very specifically outline activities to be undertaken by the central and states governments for disaster risk mitigation, preparedness, response, recovery, reconstruction, and governance.
  • It should also provide a time frame for undertaking these activities beyond vaguely prescribing that these must be taken up in short, medium, mid- and long-term basis.
  • Plan should also outline the ways needs to be adopted for mobilisation of funds required for this purpose.

Conclusion-

India is very vulnerable to disasters, hence NDMP is welcome move to prevent loss and damages from such calamities. The unveiling of the NDMP is a watershed moment which heralds a new thinking in administrative circles. Now its time to look at investments in disaster mitigation. Considering the immense long-term economic damage that disasters pose to individuals, families, communities and the state and country at large, the expenditure on disaster mitigation must be viewed as investment for a better future.


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