Based on the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction of the UN, the plan provides a detailed framework to deal with disaster management, in terms of prevention, mitigation, response and recovery.
The NDMP lists 15 disasters and each ministry has been given the charge for managing and mitigation operations. For instance, the Health Ministry will be in charge of biological disasters.
VR Hari Balaji, National Consultant for Disaster Risk Reduction, said this plan has covered the entire gamut of disaster management. “The NDMP takes into account global best practices, by including the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction: understanding disaster risk, improving disaster risk governance, investing in disaster risk reduction (through structural and non-structural measures) and disaster preparedness, early warning and bouncing back better in the aftermath of a disaster. The plan is very elaborate on how to prevent any disaster and more importantly, how to recover stronger. There is a focus on resilience, preparedness and zero loss of lives (both human and livestock) and assets. This plan is fabulous in theory,” said this city based expert.
Dr GP Ganapathy, Associate Professor & Director, Centre for Disaster Mitigation and Management, Vellore Institute of Technology (VIT) University, said the NDMP will bring in more accountability. “The plan identifies the roles of different agencies, including the State government, in case of disaster – both natural and man-made. There is also a standard operating procedure (SOP) and focus on creating awareness about this, so people know what to do during a particular disaster. Keeping in line with the Disaster Management Act 2005, the plan focusses on investing in proactive measures such as mitigation and planning than rescue and rehabilitation. In Tamil Nadu too, the preparation of a State Disaster Management Plan is underway and we will soon submit it to the government,” said this academician, who is also a Consultant for State Disaster Management Plan and district multi hazard mapping.
Hari added that this plan, with its budgetary allocation, is an indirect message to the state governments. “Since there has been a budget allocated for centre, state and district levels, this means that the states have to spruce up with disaster management plans. In many cases, officials don’t interact with the press, which leads to dissemination of wrong information. To avoid this, regular press briefings are recommended to provide details and helpline numbers,” he explained.
Dr SS Ramakrishnan, Professor at Anna University’s Institute of Remote Sensing (IRS), said, “The plan, definitely, is the need of the hour. But I hope that the government will allocate more funds to use geo- satellites and other technology during disaster. Geo-satellites can be useful to also identify disaster risk, in case of floods and droughts, and will help safeguard people better. It will also ensure that disaster relief reaches the needy.”