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IV.   Natural Disaster Management System  

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 In the federal set up of India , the basic responsibility for undertaking rescue, relief and rehabilitation measures in the event of natural disasters is that of the State Government concerned. The role of the Central Government is supportive, in terms of physical and financial resources and complementary measures in sectors such as transport, warning and inter-state movement of food grains. The dimensions of the response at the level of Central Government are determined in accordance with the existing policy of financing the relief expenditure, based on the recommendations of the Finance Commissions appointed after every five years

 

 Based on the past experience, an integrated administrative response mechanism has been evolved. A broad view of the administrative response at national, state and district levels is given below:

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1. National Level Organization

 

Nodal Ministry: Ministry of Home Affairs

Other line Ministries:/Departments/Organizations: India Meteorological Department, Central Water Commission, Ministry of Home Affairs, Ministry of Defense, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Rural Development, Ministry of Urban Development, Department of Communications, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Water Resources, Ministry of Petroleum, Department of Agriculture & Cooperation. Ministry of Power, Department of Civil Supplies, Ministry of Railways, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Planning Commission, Cabinet Secretariat, Department of Surface Transport, Ministry of Social Justice, Department of Women and Child Development, Ministry of Environment and Forest, Department of Food.  Each Ministry/Department/Organization has their sectoral. Action Plan as Emergency Support System. The institutional mechanism at the National Level is as under:

Cabinet Committee/Task Force: The Union Cabinet may set up a Cabinet Committee/Task Force / Group of Ministers for effective coordination and implementation of relief measures in the wake of a natural disasters. Such Committees/Task Force/Group of Ministers had been set up in the wake of Super Cyclone of Orissa in 1999, Earthquake of Gujarat 2001, severe floods in 2000 and drought in 2002.

National Crises Management Committee (NCMC): Cabinet Secretary, which is the highest executive officer, heads the NCMC. Secretaries of all the concerned Ministries /Departments as well as organizations are the members of the Committee. The NCMC gives direction to the Crisis Management Group as deemed necessary.

Crisis Management Group (CMG): The Central Relief Commissioner in the Ministry of Home Affairs is the Chairman of the CMG, consisting of senior officers (called as nodal officers) from various concerned Ministries. The CMGfs functions are to review

Every year contingency plans formulated by various Ministries/Departments/Organizations in their respective sectors, measures required for dealing with a natural disaster, coordinate the activities of the Central Ministries and the State Governments in relation to disaster preparedness and relief and to obtain information from the nodal officers on measures relating to above.

Control Room (Emergency Operation Room): An Emergency Operations Center (Control Room) exists in the nodal Ministry of Home Affairs, which functions round the clock, to assist the Central Relief Commissioner in the discharge of his duties. During crisis period, providing additional manpower and equipment, as per the need, strengthens it.

 

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2. State Level Organization

 

At the State level, a State Crisis Management Committee has been set under the Chairmanship of the Chief Secretary, who is the highest executive functionary in the State. The Committee is required to take into consideration the instructions and guidance received, from time to time, from the Government of India and formulates action plans dealing with the different natural disasters

. An officer of the level of Secretary in the State Government is designated as Relief Commissioner, which is the nodal officer in the State is the coordinator of all activities/programs for disaster management.

                           

3. District Level

 

District level is the key level for disaster management related activities.

District Collector, the highest administrator in the district, is the focal point for preparation of the district level plans and for directing, supervising and monitoring relief measures for the natural disasters. A District Level Co-ordination and Relief Committee is constituted and is headed by the Collector as Chairman with participation of all other related government and non governmental agencies and departments in addition to the elected representatives

 

Contingency Action Plan

A National Contingency Action Plan (CAP) for dealing with contingencies arising in the wake of natural disasters has been formulated by the Government of India and it had been periodically updated.   It facilitates the launching of relief operations without delay.   The CAP identifies the initiatives required to be taken by various Central Ministries/Departments in the wake of natural calamities, sets down the procedure and determines the focal points in the administrative machinery

 

State Relief Manuals

Each State Government has relief manuals/codes for which identifies that role of each officer in the State for managing the natural disasters. These are reviewed and updated periodically based on the experience of managing the disasters and the need of the State.

 

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