Features of India's First Ever National Disaster Management Plan

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi released the National Disaster Management Plan (NDMP) on the 1st of June. 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 maximising the ability to cope with disasters at all levels of administration as well as among communities".

disaster management

There are numerous features of the plan that makes it really special. Following are the highlights of the NDMP:

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 and 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 generalised responsibility matrix given in this section summarises 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

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 generalised 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.

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