National Disaster Management Plan Released

Prime Minister Narendra Modi released the National Disaster Management Plan (NDMP). This is the first ever national plan prepared in the country.

The NDMP 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”.

For each hazard, the approach used in this national plan incorporates the four priorities enunciated in the Sendai Framework into the planning framework for Disaster Risk Reduction under the five Thematic Areas for Actions:

1. Understanding Risk

2. Inter-Agency Coordination

3. Investing in DRR – Structural Measures

4. Investing in DRR – Non-Structural Measures

5. Capacity Development

The Response part of the Plan has identified eighteen broad activities which have been arranged into a matrix to be served as a ready reckoner:

  1. Early Warning, Maps, Satellite inputs, Information Dissemination
  2. Evacuation of People and Animals
  3. Search and Rescue of People and Animals
  4. Medical Care
  5. Drinking Water/ Dewatering Pumps/ Sanitation Facilities/ Public Health
  6. Food & Essential Supplies
  7. Communication
  8. Housing and Temporary Shelters
  9. Power
  10. Fuel
  11. Transportation
  12. Relief Logistics and Supply Chain Management
  13. Disposal of Animal Carcasses
  14. Fodder for livestock in scarcity-hit areas
  15. Rehabilitation and Ensuring Safety of Livestock and other Animals, Veterinary Care
  16. Data Collection and Management
  17. Relief Employment
  18. Media Relations

The Plan has also incorporated a Chapter on Strengthening Disaster Risk Governance.

The generalized responsibility matrix given in this section summarizes 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:

1. Mainstream and integrate DRR and Institutional Strengthening

2. Capacity Development

3. Promote Participatory Approaches

4. Work with Elected Representatives

5. Grievance Redress Mechanism

6. Promote Quality Standards, Certifications, and Awards for Disaster Risk Management

Salient Features of the Plan:

The plan 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 Government.

The plan also spells out 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.

It is designed in such a way that it can be implemented in a scalable manner in all phases of disaster management.

It also identifies major activities such as early warning, information dissemination, medical care, fuel, transportation, search and rescue, evacuation, etc. to serve as a checklist for agencies responding to a disaster.

It also provides a generalized framework for recovery and offers flexibility to assess a situation and build back better.

To prepare communities to cope with disasters, it emphasizes on a greater need for Information, Education and Communication activities.

The National Disaster Management Plan (NDMP) provides a framework and direction to the government agencies for all phases of disaster management cycle.

The NDMP is a dynamic document in the sense that it will be periodically improved keeping up with the emerging global best practices and knowledge bases in disaster management.

Globally, the approach towards post-disaster restoration and rehabilitation has shifted to one of betterment reconstruction.

The NDMP provides a generalized framework for recovery since it is not possible to anticipate all the possible elements of betterment reconstruction.

The Plan also highlights that the disaster risk reduction will be achieved by mainstreaming the requirements into the developmental plans.