Managing Disasters

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Broad Policy –

•To build a safe and disaster-resilient India by developing a holistic, proactive, multi-disaster and technology-driven strategy for Disaster Management.
• Promoting a culture of prevention and preparedness – by centre-staging DM as an overriding priority at all levels and at all times.
• Encouraging mitigation measures based on state-of-the-art technology and environmental sustainability.
• Mainstreaming DM concerns into the development planning process.
• Putting in place a streamlined institutional techno-legal framework in order to create and preserve the integrity of an enabling regulatory environment and a compliance regime.
• Developing contemporary forecasting and early warning systems backed by responsive and fail-safe communications and Information Technology (IT) support.
• Promoting a productive partnership with the Media, NGOs and the Corporate Sector in the areas of awareness generation and capacity development.
• Ensuring efficient response and relief with a caring humane approach towards the vulnerable sections of the society.
• Making reconstruction an opportunity to build back better and construct disaster-resilient structures and habitats.

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Reforms & Targeted Actions –

• The UPA Government initiated enactment of the Disaster Management Act, 2005
• UPA has set up the National Disaster Management Authority with the National Disaster Response Force, National Disaster Response Fund and National Institute of Disaster Management under it.
• A number of states and union territories have constituted Disaster Management Authorities at the state and district levels under the Act.
• Normally, the expenditure on long-term rehabilitationand reconstruction of damaged infrastructure is required to be met by state governments from their Plan resources.
•However, keeping in view themagnitude of the situation and requirement of funds, the Government of India has provided necessary financial assistance for long-term rehabilitation and reconstruction as well in respect of the tsunami in 2004, the earthquake in Jammu and Kashmir in 2005, and the nine States that experienced severe floods in 2005.
• The eligibility for calamity assistance has been extended to additionally cover landslides, avalanches, cloudbursts and pests attacks.
•The extant items and norms of assistance have been revised substantially upwards so as to provide higher amounts of relief assistance to the people affected by various natural calamities.
• In cases of ex gratia payment to the families of the deceased, small and marginal farmers, and people whose houses were damaged, the increase in norms is as high as 100% to 150%.
• The UPA Government has launched a massive Flood Management Programme, scaling up assistance for flood management from around Rs. 600 crore in the 10th Plan to Rs. 8,000 crore in the 11th Plan.
•  A comprehensive book on ‘Disaster Management in India’ highlighting disaster concerns and initiatives has been prepared and released to all States/Union Territories
• The National Disaster Management Authority has so far issued 17 guidelines, the latest being on ‘National Disaster Management Information and Communication System.’
•These guidelines cover multiple facets of disaster management at the operational level.
•  A community-based Disaster Management Programme has been taken up in 169 most hazard prone districts, aimed at reducing disaster-risk through awareness and development of capacity forpreparedness, response and mitigation at various levels.
• A major modernisation exercise has been undertaken in the India Meteorology Department.
•A state-of-the-art Tsunami Early Warning System has been commissioned
• The Flood Forecasting Network is being upgraded through satellite-based data communication system.
• A Tsunami Reconstruction Programme, with an outlay of Rs. 9,822 crore, has been successfully implemented
• The UPA Government has put in place a National Rehabilitation and Resettlement Policy to address the long standing grievances of people displaced from their land by development projects.
• Land Acquisition (Amendment) Rehabilitation and Resettlement Bill has already been introduced in the Parliament

•The UPA Government has provided packages of assistance for victims of the 1984 anti-Sikh riots as well as the victims of the train tragedy in Godhra and the ensuing violence in Gujarat in 2002. Assistance of Rs. 315 crore has been released.

• The UPA has also provided a package for compensating the Bhopal Gas Tragedy Victims

• A robust response mechanism for disaster situations has been developed including early warning and communication systems.

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• The strength of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) has been augmented to ten battalions.
• In 2011-12, 8201 NDRF personnel along with necessary equipment were deployed during calamities like floods andearthquakes in various parts of the country and around 19442 people rescued.
• An NDRF team was also deployed in Japan in the aftermath of the tsunami affecting the Country
• National Cyclone Risk Mitigation Project – Phase I of the Centrally Sponsored Scheme of National Cyclone Risk Mitigation Project (NCRMP) for Andhra Pradesh and Orissa at an estimated cost of Rs 1496.71 crores to address the vulnerability of coastal community who are generally poor. The project aims at minimizing the vulnerability to cyclones and making people and infrastructure disaster resilient.
• In December, 2010, India and the Russian Federation signed an agreement on cooperation in the field of emergency management.
• A pilot Project in collaboration with Indira  Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) on capacity building in disaster management of the Government Officials, representatives of Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs) and Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) in the areas of disaster prevention, preparedness, mitigation, response and recovery in 54 districts of 11 hazard prone States
• A project on multi-State earthquake preparedness. which aims to provide a scientific understanding of the consequences of a large earthquake in the Himalayas among various Stakeholders
• The Pilot Project on Advanced Trauma Life  Support (ATLS) Project at JPN Apex Trauma Centre (AIIMS). This project seeks to develop human resources to provide effective trauma care initially in the vulnerable and disaster prone states such as Assam, Bihar and Andhra Pradesh
• India Disaster Knowledge Network (IDKN) is a web portal, that offers a broad array of resources and services
• The main goal of IDKN is to create an easy to use unified point of access to disaster management knowledge
• A Centrally Sponsored Scheme with an outlay of `100 crore was launched in 2009 for revamping Civil Defence set up in the country during the 11th Five Year Plan
•The present target of Civil Defence volunteers is 13.08 lakh, out of which 5.69 lakh volunteers have already been raised and 5.19 lakh have been trained.

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