VIII. On going Initiatives for Disaster Reduction


Based on the experience of managing past major disasters and technological development being taken place in and outside the country, Government of India and State Governments have initiated /planning to undertake various activities/programs contributing towards reducing the adverse impact of natural disasters. Some of them are listed below:


1. Setting up of National Committee on Disaster Management under the Chairmanship of Prime Minister-after the earthquake of Gujarat of January 2001 

-inter-alias to suggest institutional and legislative measures for an effective and long term strategy to deal with major natural disasters in future.

 2.Setting up of a High Powered Committee on Disaster Management Plans-set up in August, 1999 and report submitted in October 2001

- to review the existing arrangements for preparedness and mitigation of natural and manmade disasters, recommend measures to strengthen organizational structures and  recommend a comprehensive model plan for management of these disasters at National, State and District levels- Recommendations are being considered by the National Committee on Disaster Management.


3.Ministry of Home Affairs as focal Point for Disaster Management

- In order to have coordination of all disasters at one place.


4.Creation of Search and Rescue Teams

- Based on the experience of managing the major disasters of Super Cyclone of Orissa 1999 and Earthquake of Gujarat of 2001,  it has been decided to create S&R Teams at the National to strengthen  this weak area of Search and Research Capacity . State Governments have also been requested to create such Teams.


5. Setting up of a National Disaster Management Authority

- As a part of ongoing exercise for strengthening institutional mechanism in the country to respond immediately and effectively  to the disaster situations-proposed to be set up under Ministry of Home Affairs.


6. Periodical review of Sectoral Emergency Support System of various Ministries/Departments/Organizations of Government of India

- As disaster management is an multi-dimensional, various Organizations of the Government has to play their role. The periodical review of Emergency Support System of various organizations in there will keep the machinery active and tools in the state of readiness.


7. Strengthening Institutional Network  

a) Setting up of a National Institute for Disaster Management 

 Proposed to set National Institute by upgrading existing National Center for Disaster Management, as an autonomous body – to cater the need of the country in the areas of human resource development and creation of knowledge and its dissemination.

b) Faculty on Natural Disaster Management in States- to assist the State Governments in carrying out the disaster reduction related activities including human resource development- Faculties have been created in 24 out 28 States – rest are being persuaded.

c) Setting up of the Orissa State Disaster Mitigation Authority (OSDMA)-in the context of  super cyclone of October 1999 

To strengthen the capacity of  State to carry out disaster reduction related programs and management of future disasters.

d)  Setting up of the Gujarat State Disaster Management Authority-in the context of  severe, earthquake of 26th January,2001

- To strengthen the capacity of  State to carry out disaster reduction related program and management of future disasters.  


8. UN assisted Projects

(i) UNDP Project on Strengthening the disaster management capacity (1997-2001)

-imparted specialized training/increased skills and capabilities of the officers working in this area from Government of India, State Governments, National Center for Disaster Management, State Faculties on NDM through training programs/study tours, provided basic equipment, making available manual and guidelines for training centers and contributed in creating awareness about the importance of and the need of preparedness and mitigation  measures.  

(ii)  UNDP Project on Natural Disaster Risk Management Programs (2002-2007)

-to be implemented in 125 the most multi-hazard prone districts of 12 States- with focus on district and community level activities.


9.USAID Programs for Enhancement of Emergency Response (1997-2004)

- for enhancing the capacity of the persons from first responders to meet the situation arising out of collapsed structures due to earthquakes and cyclones. to build a cadre of trainers for replicating the programs in various parts of the country.

10. Preparation of Vulnerability Atlas of India-for disasters of earthquakes, floods and cyclones

- to assist the disaster managers and planners for formulating action plans  for achieving disaster reduction based on vulnerability of the area to various disasters


11.Legislation in the field of Disaster Management

-it is proposed to take measures for giving adequate legislative support to various disaster reduction and management related programs for their effective implementation.


12.Guidlelines for Disaster Resistant Construction  

for the use of concerned organizations and individuals for constructing disaster resistant building/houses.


13. Upgrading and Strengthening of Seismological Instrumentation Network

- to improve the capacity of the country for effective monitoring of seismic activities and assist in formulating earthquake preparedness programs.


14.Disaster Related Standardizationpreparation of Codes and guidelines through Bureau of Indian Standards, Building Material & Technology Promotion Council and Structural Engineering Research Center  

. for the use of  concerned organizations and individuals for constructing disaster resistant building/houses.


15. Hazard Assessment and Mapping

- to improve the capacity of the country for effective monitoring of seismic activities and assist in formulating earthquake preparedness programs.


16. Preparation of Seism tectonic Atlas of India

- to be used for the seismic hazard risk assessment and preparation of reliable seismic zoning map of India


17. Jal Vigyan Technology Mission Project

- expected to improve hazard mitigation in the Himalayan.


18. Proposal to set up a Earthquake Risk Evaluation Centers

-expected to assist in translating the earthquake hazard related knowledge products in to seismic risk evaluation, hazard mitigation and preparedness.


19.Disaster Warning System (DWS)

-dependable communication tool in wake of disruption of normal communication system following the cyclones. Successfully operated during past cyclones and found to be very effective


20.Plan Scheme for Disaster Management  

To improve disaster management strategy and to enhance our capability to mitigate the impact of disasters in the country in the long-run,  A Central Sector Scheme on Natural Disaster Management Programs (NDMP) is being implemented from December 1993.  The main objective of the program is to enhance the national capability for disaster reduction, preparedness and mitigation.  The program is also expected to enhance the level of awareness of the community about disasters they are likely to face and prepare them adequately to face the crisis situation.      The components of the program include human resource development, research and consultancy services, documentation of major events, operation of Centers for Disaster Management at the National and State Levels, public education and community participation, international cooperation.


21. Strengthening Forecasting and Warning Systems

- India Meteorological Department, Central Water Commission are continuously making efforts for strengthening forecasting and warning of various disasters, keeping in view the experiences of previous disasters and technological development taking place in and outside the country.


22. Extensive campaign for public education and community involvement

- Government is taking all steps to undertake more extensively activities relating to educating the people, particularly students, and motivating them to involve in various programs of the Government- assistance of non-governmental organizations and other private organizations are being taken.

23.Networking of various Institutions

- There are large number of organizations working in one or the other areas of disaster management  including preparedness and mitigation. Efforts are being made to network them, so that the benefit of their work can be taken and also to avoid duplication of activities.


24. Involvement of Non –governmental organizations

- NGOs are required to play a vital role in the management disasters to supplement the efforts of the Government, keeping in view of vastness of the country. Efforts have been initiated to involve them more effectively.


25. Involvement of Private Sector

- In India, so far private sector has played very limited role in the disaster situations. It is planned to involve this sector more actively, as industries are one of the affected sectors in the wake of disasters.