India’s first ever National Disaster Management Plan announced

The National Disaster Management Plan (NDMP) was officially released by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday. The Plan has been prepared following the UN guidelines. The stated objective of the Central Government is to stay well prepared to face any natural or man-made exigency and minimize the loss of life. And post disasters, arrange speedy re-construction and rehabilitation of the damaged area.India's first ever National Disaster Management Plan announced

NDMP has been formulated in accordance with the ‘Sendai Framework’ of the United Nations which lists four priorities.  Administrative reforms to better identify disaster risks; Ready mechanism for dealing with any exigency; Early warning system and the principle of “Build Back Better” for recovery, rehabilitation and reconstruction.

NDMP focuses on critical aspects such as recognition and response to barriers in implementation of disaster management. Emphasis has been given to coordination and dialogue among all Government departments   and various agencies, dealing with the exigency.

‘Roles and responsibilities of the rural (Panchayat) and urban local bodies, and all levels of State and Central Government have been defined in The Plan’, said retired Lt. Gen. N. C. Marwah, a member of the committee appointed by the Government to develop NDMP. He went on to claim the NDMP will additionally assist in developmental planning because of its departmental approach.

The Plan is exhaustive and also covers man-made disasters such as chemical, biological, radioactive and nuclear (CBRN). NDMP accentuates on providing information, establishing contact and educating the citizens on how to face up to the disasters.

 The ‘Sendai guidelines’ for developing disaster management plan were laid down by the United Nations in 2015.   In this context, ‘Sendai Framework’ agreement has been signed by 187 countries, including India.

In Asia alone,   thousands of people lose their lives every year to natural calamities. India continuously faces the risk from earthquakes, storms, and other natural disasters such as floods, yet there has never been a defined National Policy for disaster management and prevention. For the very first time, with this new ‘National Disaster Management Plan’, India has implemented such policy.  This requires the system to stay prepared and geared up to face any disaster quickly; and thus reduce loss of life significantly. The co-ordination among Government and other agencies should ensure that the situation is quickly brought back to normal and this will speed up rehabilitation and reconstruction work.

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