The National Disaster Management Authority

The National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), headed by the Prime Minister of India, is the Apex Body for Disaster Management in India. The setting up of the NDMA and the creation of an enabling environment for institutional mechanisms at the State and District levels is mandated by the Disaster Management Act, 2005. Contents [hide] •1 Evolution of NDMA •2 Roles and Responsibilities •3 Organisation •4 National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) Evolution of NDMA Emergence of an organization is always an evolutionary process.

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Establishment of NDMA has also gone through the same processes. Towards this aim, the Government of India (GOI), in recognition of the importance of Disaster Management as a national priority, has set up a High-Powered Committee (HPC) in August 1999 and also a nation committee after the 2001 Gujarat earthquake, for making recommendations on the preparation of Disaster Management plans and suggestion effective mitigation mechanisms. The Tenth Five-Year Plan Document also had, for the first time, a detailed chapter on Disaster Management.

Similarly, the Twelfth Finance Commission of India was also mandated to review the financial arrangements for Disaster Management. On 23 December 2005, the Government of India enacted the Disaster Management Act, which envisaged the creation of the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), headed by the Prime Minister of India, and State Disaster Management Authorities (SDMAs) headed by respective Chief Ministers of the States, to spearhead and implement a holistic and integrated approach to Disaster Management in India.

Roles and Responsibilities NDMA as the apex body is mandated to lay down the policies, plans and guidelines for Disaster Management to ensure timely and effective response to disasters. Towards this, it has the following responsibilities:- •Lay down policies on disaster management; •Approve the National Plan; Approve plans prepared by the Ministries or Departments of the Government of India in accordance with the National Plan; •Lay down guidelines to be followed by the State Authorities in drawing up the State Plan; •Lay down guidelines to be followed by the different Ministries or Departments of the Government of India for the Purpose of integrating the measures for prevention of disaster or the mitigation of its effects in their development plans and projects; •Coordinate the enforcement and implementation of the policy and plan for disaster management; •Recommend provision of funds for the purpose of mitigation; •Provide such support to other countries affected by major disasters as may be determined by the Central Government; •Take such other measures for the prevention of disaster, or the mitigation, or preparedness and capacity building for dealing with the threatening disaster situation or disaster as it may consider necessary; •Lay down broad policies and guidelines for the functioning of the National Institute of Disaster Management. Organisation

National Disaster Management Authority has been constituted with the Prime Minister of India as its Chairman, a Vice Chairman with the status of Cabinet Minister, and eight members with the status of Ministers of State. Each of the members has a well defined functional domain covering various states as also disaster specific areas of focus and concern To carry out the mandated functions, NDMA has evolved a lean and professional organization which is IT-enabled and knowledge based. Skills and expertise of the specialists are extensively used to address all the disaster related issues. . A functional and operational infrastructure has been built which is appropriate for disaster management involving uncertainties coupled with desired plans of action. The concept of the organization is based on a disaster divisions-cum-secretariat system.

Each member of the Authority heads disaster-specific divisions for specific disaster and functional domains. Each member has also been given the responsibility of specified states and UTs for close interaction and coordination. The NDMA Secretariat, headed by a Secretary is responsible to provide secretarial support and continuity. National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) The Disaster Management Act, 2005 has mandated constitution of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), a Specialist Response Force, for the purpose of specialized response to natural and man-made disasters. This Force will function under the National Disaster Management Authority which has been vested with its control, direction and general superintendence.

This will be a multi-disciplinary, multi-skilled, high-tech force for all types of disasters capable of insertion by air, sea and land. All the eight battalions of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) are equipped and trained for all natural disasters including four battalions in combating nuclear, biological and chemical disasters. DDMA The government had decided to constitute a Disaster Management Authority in every district of the state, he said. The government had also issued notification in this regard, nominating each Deputy Commissioner as ex-officio chairman of the proposed Authority. The Chairman of Zila Parishad will be Co- Chairman and the Additional Deputy Commissioner will be ex-officio Chief Executive Officer in the Authority.

The Superintendent of Police of the respective district would be ex-officio member of the DDMA but in case of Gurgaon district Deputy Commissioner Police (HQ) will serve the purpose. Other members include Civil Surgeon, Superintendenting Engineer of PWD ( B&R) and District Revenue and Disaster Management Officer posted in the district. The DDMA will consist of seven members including the Chairman. He said that the headquarter of the DDMA would be set up at the district headquarter and a meeting atleast once in a year has been made mandatory. The Authority would ensure preparation of District Response Plan and Disaster management Plan. It would monitor and ensure proper implementation of national and state disaster management plans in the district and would identify the quake prone areas.

It would devise ways and means to minimise the losses in the event of natural calamity like that of earthquake by striking co-ordination between various departments. He said the DDMA would provide technical help and advice for effective management of activities before and after the calamity. It would identify such open places and buildings which can used for relief camps and as shelter houses for calamity victims. It would also enlist the NGOs and other social organisations in the district and motivate them to play pro-active role in disaster management programme. The DDMA could constitute one or more committees as per requirement and pay remuneration for assistance provided by any specialist to the Authority according to the government guidelines, he added.

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