- The National Disaster Management Authority is in charge of disaster relief. After the Gujarat earthquake, the Indian government established a High Powered Committee in 1999 and a National Committee in 2001 to offer recommendations on disaster management strategies and identify efficient mitigation mechanisms, recognizing disaster management as a national priority. However, following the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, the Indian government passed the Disaster Management Act, 2005, which was a watershed moment in the country’s legislative history.
- The National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) was established under the Act to lead and implement a holistic and integrated approach to disaster management in the country. The NDMA was established by an Executive Order of the Indian government in 2005. Following that, the NDMA was notified in 2006 under the Act’s requirements.
- The NDMA is made up of a chairperson and up to nine other members. The Prime Minister serves as the NDMA’s ex-officio chairperson. The chairperson of the NDMA nominates the other members. The NDMA’s chairperson appoints one of its members to serve as vice-chairperson. The vice-chairperson holds Cabinet Minister position, while the other members have Minister of State status.
- The NDMA is the country’s apex disaster management body. The Union Ministry of Home Affairs has administrative jurisdiction over it.
- The NDMA was founded with the mission of “building a safer and more disaster-resilient India through a holistic, proactive, technology-driven, and long-term development strategy that engages all stakeholders and creates a culture of prevention, preparedness, and mitigation.”
The following are the goals of the NDMA:
1. Through knowledge, innovation, and education, foster a culture of prevention, readiness, and resilience at all levels.
2. To promote technology-based, traditional wisdom-based, and environmentally sustainable mitigation approaches.
3. Integrating disaster preparedness into the development planning process.
4. To develop an enabling regulatory environment and a compliance regime, institutional and techno-legal frameworks must be established.
5. Establish an effective system for identifying, assessing, and monitoring disaster risks.
6. Develop modern forecasting and early warning systems that are backed by timely and failsafe communication with the use of information technology.
7. To provide effective reaction and relief while taking into account the needs of the most vulnerable members of society.
8. To use reconstruction as an opportunity to construct disaster-resistant structures and habitat in order to ensure a safer living environment.
9. To encourage a positive and proactive relationship with the media in the event of a tragedy.
The Functions of NDMA
The NDMA is in charge of establishing disaster management policies, strategies, and guidelines in order to provide a quick and effective response to disasters.
1. To establish disaster management policies.
2. To provide final approval to the National Plan.
3. To approve plans made by Government of India Ministries or Departments in conformity with the National Plan.
4. To establish recommendations for the State Disaster Management Authorities (SDMAs) to follow when drafting the State Plan.
5. To establish guidelines for the various Ministries and Departments of the Government of India to follow in order to incorporate disaster preventive and mitigation measures into their development plans and initiatives.
6. To coordinate the enforcement and implementation of the disaster management policy and plan.
7. To advocate for the provision of money for mitigation.
8. To provide such assistance to other countries affected by significant disasters as the federal government deems necessary.
9. To take any additional steps it deems essential for disaster prevention, mitigation, readiness, and capacity building in the case of a dangerous disaster situation or disaster.
10. Establish comprehensive policies and procedures for the National Institute of Disaster Management’s operations.
In addition to the aforementioned functions, the NDMA additionally does the following:
1. It proposes rules for the basic requirements of disaster help to be delivered to disaster victims.
2. It advises that in the event of a major disaster, people affected by the disaster be given loan forgiveness or new loans at a reduced interest rate.
3. It is in charge of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRFoverall )’s supervision, direction, and control. This force was formed to provide specialized assistance in the event of a threatening crisis situation or disaster.
4. It empowers the relevant department or authority to make an emergency procurement of provisions or materials for rescue or relief in the event of a disaster. The regular procedure of inviting tenders is presumed to be waived in this circumstance.
5. It sends an annual report to the federal government detailing its work. It is laid before both Houses of Parliament by the central administration.
Composition of the State Disaster Management Authority
A State Disaster Management Authority (SDMA) should be established by each state government. An SDMA is made up of a chairperson and up to nine other members.
The SDMA’s ex-officio chairperson is the state’s Chief Minister. Ex-officio member of the SDMA is the chairperson of the State Executive Committee. The other members, a maximum of eight, are nominated by the SDMA’s chairperson.
The SDMA’s chairperson appoints one of its members to serve as vice-chairperson. The SDMA’s ex-officio chief executive officer is the chairperson of the State Executive Committee.
An SDMA is in charge of establishing policies and plans for disaster management in the state. The following are some of its functions:
1. Define the state’s disaster management strategy.
2. To adopt the State Plan in compliance with the National Development and Management Act (NDMA) principles.
3. To provide final approval to the disaster management plans submitted by the state’s departments of government.
4. To establish recommendations for state government agencies to follow in order to integrate disaster preventive and mitigation measures into their development plans and projects, as well as to provide appropriate technical assistance.
5. Coordination of the State Plan’s implementation.
6. To suggest that funds be set aside for mitigation and preparedness actions.
7. Examine the development plans of the various state departments and ensure that prevention and mitigation measures are included.
8. To examine the actions being taken by the state’s departments for mitigation, capacity building, and readiness, and to offer any guidelines that may be necessary.
Composition of the District Disaster Management Authority
Every state government should create a District Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) for each of the state’s districts. A DDMA is made up of a chairperson and up to seven other members.
The DDMA’s ex-officio chairperson is the district’s Collector (or District Magistrate or Deputy Commissioner). The DDMA’s ex-officio co-chairperson is the local authority’s elected representative.
However, in Tribal Areas (as defined in the Constitution of India’s Sixth Schedule), the ex-officio co-chairperson of the DDMA is the chief executive member of the autonomous district’s district council. Ex-officio members of the DDMA include the DDMA’s chief executive officer, the district’s superintendent of police, and the district’s chief medical officer.
The state government appoints no more than two other district level authorities as members of the DDMA. If a district has a Zilla Parishad, the chairperson of that Zilla Parishad is also the DDMA’s co-chairperson. The state government appoints the DDMA’s president and chief executive officer.
The DDMA serves as the district’s disaster planning, coordination, and implementation organization, and it implements all disaster management measures in the district in compliance with the NDMA and SDMA recommendations. The following are its functions:
1. Develop a disaster management plan for the district, including a district response plan.
2. Coordination and oversight of the National Policy, State Policy, National Plan, State Plan, and District Plan execution.
3. To guarantee that disaster-prone regions in the district are recognized, and that disaster prevention and mitigation measures are implemented by government departments at the district and municipal levels.
4. To ensure that all departments of the government at the district level, as well as the local authorities in the district, follow the NDMA and SDMA guidelines for disaster prevention, mitigation of its effects, preparedness, and response measures.
5. Organize and manage specialized training programs for the district’s various levels of officers, employees, and volunteer rescue workers.
6. With the help of local governments, governmental and non-governmental organizations, implement community training and awareness programs for disaster prevention and mitigation.
7. Establish, maintain, examine, and enhance a method for early warnings and public distribution of accurate information.
8. To advise, assist, and coordinate the actions of the district government’s departments, statutory bodies, and other governmental and nonprofit organizations involved in disaster management in the district.
9. To identify structures and locations that could be utilized as relief centers or camps in the case of a threatening crisis situation or disaster, and to prepare arrangements for water and sanitation in such buildings or locations.
10. To carry out any other duties that the state government or SDMA may delegate to it or that it deems necessary for disaster relief in the District.