New National Disaster Management Policy soon: Gen Vij

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Hyderabad, Oct 21 (UNI) The Centre will soon come out with a new Disaster Management Policy to control man-made and natural disasters in the country.

Delivering the key note address at the inauguration of first World Congress here today, National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) Vice Chairman Gen N C Vij said the NDMA had submitted a draft on National Disaster Management Policy to the Union Cabinet for its approval.

Once approved, the new policy would provide holistic approach to tackle the situation arising out of natural and man-made disasters, including terrorist strikes, chemical, biological and nuclear accidents, he said, adding the NMDA would launch five projects across the country with its focus on disaster mitigation and preparedness.

He said the NMDA would soon launch the Cyclone Risk Mitigation in five states and eight union territories at a cost of Rs 1,600 crore, Earthquake Risk Mitigation in 28 states at a cost of Rs 560 crore, Dedicated Disaster Communication Network in all the states costing Rs 500 crore, Naitional Reserve Force with four lakh people and a pilot school safety programme.

The detailed reports for these five projects were currently being prepared he said and added the NMDA would soon have a full-scale school safety project for the country.

Mainstreaming of disaster management in development was essential to minimise the risks, Gen Vij said adding any development project, costing over Rs 10 crore, should have an in-built disaster management audit.

He called upon the state governments to pay more attention to it as NMDA was doing its job in a perfect manner to bring about a culture of preparedness in the country.

He said 4,000 lives were lost in India every year in disasters, excluding the lives lost during major disasters. Between 1994 and 1998, about 120 million people were affected by the natural disasters in the country, while the economic losses accounted for Rs 2,86,780 million. Between 1998 and 2003, the number of affected trebled to 560 million, while the economic losses doubled to touch Rs 4,74,640 million, he added.

India was highly vulnerable to natural and man-made disasters, as 58.6 per cent of the landmass was prone to earthquakes, 5700-km of coastline prone to cyclones and tsunamis, he said.


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