Disaster & Relief

Disaster & Relief

 

 

According to Disaster Management in India, Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India, http://www.unisdr.org/eng/mdgs-drr/national-reports/India-
report.pdf
:


• Disaster management occupies an important place in this country’s policy framework as it is the poor and the under-privileged who is worst affected on account of calamities/disasters.

• India has been traditionally vulnerable to natural disasters on account of its unique geo-climatic conditions.  Floods, droughts, cyclones, earthquakes and landslides have been recurrent phenomena. About 60% of the landmass is prone to earthquakes of various intensities; over 40 million hectares is prone to floods; about 8% of the total area is prone to cyclones and 68% of the area is susceptible to drought

• In the decade 1990-2000, an average of about 4,344 people lost their lives and about 30 million people were affected by disasters every year.  The loss in terms of private, community and public assets has been astronomical.

• The United Nations General Assembly, in 1989, declared the decade 1990-2000 as the International Decade for Natural Disaster Reduction with the objective to reduce loss of lives and property and restrict socio-economic damage through concerted international action, especially in developing countries.

• The super cyclone in Orissa in October, 1999 and the Bhuj earthquake in Gujarat in January, 2001 underscored the need to adopt a multi dimensional endeavour involving diverse scientific, engineering, financial and social processes; the need to adopt multi disciplinary and multi sectoral approach and incorporation of risk reduction in the developmental plans and strategies.

• In the federal set up of India, the basic responsibility for undertaking rescue, relief and rehabilitation measures in the event of a disaster is that of the State Governemnt concerned.  At the State level, response, relief and rehabilitation are handled by Departments of Relief & Rehabilitation. 

• Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) is mandated to monitor and give warnings regarding Tropical Cyclone (TC). A National Core Group on Cyclone Monitoring & Mitigation has been constituted. Experts from Indian Meteorological Department, National Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasting, Central Water Commission, National Remote Sensing Agency and Indian Space Research Organisation have been made the Members of the Core Group, besides administrators from the relevant Ministries/Departments and State Governments vulnerable to cyclones.

• Flooding is caused by the inadequate capacity within the banks of the rivers to contain the high flow brought down from the upper catchments due to heavy rainfall.    It is also caused by accumulation of water resulting from heavy spells of rainfall over areas, which have got poor drainage characteristics. Flooding is accentuated by erosion and silting leading to meandering of the rivers in plains and reduction in carrying capacity of the river channel.  It is also aggravated by earthquakes and landslides, leading to changes in river course and obstructions to   flow.   .  

• At present, there are 166 flood forecasting stations on various rivers in the country which includes 134 level forecasting and 32 inflow forecasting stations

• From the experience of managing the past droughts particularly the severe drought of 1987, a number of programmes have been launched by the Government to mitigate the impact of drought in the long run.  These programmes include Drought Prone Area Programme (DPAP), Desert Development Programme (DDP), National Watershed Development Project for Rainfed Areas (NWDPRA), Watershed Development Programme for Shifting Cultivation (WDPSC), Integrated Water Development Project (IWDP), Integrated Afforestation and Eco-development Project Scheme (IAEPS)

• A Disaster Risk Management Programme has been taken up with the assistance from UNDP, USAID and European Union in 169 most hazard prone districts in 17 States including all the 8 North Eastern State. The implementation of the project commenced from October 2002 and was expected to be concluded by December 2007.Under this programme Disaster Management Plans have been prepared for about 3500 villages, 250 Gram Panchayat, 60 blocks and 15 districts. Elected representatives of over 8000 Panchayati Raj Institutions have already been trained, besides imparting training to Members of voluntary organisations. Over 20000 Government functionaries have been trained in disaster mitigation and preparedness at different levels. About 600 engineers and 220 architects have been trained under this programme in vulnerability assessment of lifeline buildings. Training is being imparted to master trainers under the programme. More than 600 master trainers and 1000 teachers have already been trained in different districts in disaster mitigation.  Disaster Management Committees consisting of elected representatives, civil society members, Civil Defence volunteers and Government functionaries have been constituted at all levels including village/urban local body/ward levels. Disaster Management Teams have been constituted in villages and are being imparted training in basic functions of first aid, rescue, evacuation and related issues.

• The National Centre for Disaster Management at the national level has been upgraded and designated as the National Institute of Disaster Management. It is being developed as a Regional Centre of Excellence in Asia. The National Institute of Disaster Management will develop training modules at different levels, undertake training of trainers and organize training programmes for planners, administrators and command functionaries.

• The Geographical Information System (GIS) database is an effective tool for emergency responders to access information in terms of crucial parameters for the disaster-affected areas. The crucial parameters include location of the public facilities, communication links and transportation network at national, state and district levels. 

 

According to Disaster Management in India—A Status Report (2004), Ministry of Home Affairs,
http://www.ndmindia.nic.in/EQProjects/Disaster%20Managemen
t%20in%20

India%20-%20A%20Status%20Report%20-%20August%202004.pdf:


• About 60% of the landmass is prone to earthquakes of various intensities; over 40 million hectares is prone to floods; about 8% of the total area is prone to cyclones and 68% of the area is susceptible to drought. In the decade 1990-2000, an average of about 4344 people lost their lives and about 30 million people were affected by disasters every year.

• The super cyclone in Orissa in October, 1999 and the Bhuj earthquake in Gujarat in January, 2001 underscored the need to adopt a multi dimensional endeavour involving diverse scientific, engineering, financial and social processes; the need to adopt multi disciplinary and multi sectoral approach and incorporation of risk reduction in the developmental plans and strategies.
 

According to Contingency Plan-Drought 2000,
http://www.ndmindia.nic.in/documents/document.html:

 

• As reported by the State Government of Gujarat, 9449 villages in 155 taluks of 17 out of 25 districts with a population of 250 lakhs were affected. The failure of fodder crop affected livestock population of 71.33 lakhs.  Banaskantha, Jamnagar, Kutch and Patan districts were severely affected. Foodgrain production is estimated to be lower by 29.45% compared to that of last year.  Oilseeds production is estimated to be lower by 49.23% as compared to that of 1999. The crop area under foodgrains, oilseeds and cotton has gone down by 4.27 lakh ha during the last kharif and Rabi seasons.

• 23,406 villages in 26 out of 32 districts with a population of 262 lakhs were reported to have been affected in Rajasthan.  Cattle population of 345.60 lakhs faced shortage of fodder.  Ground water level went down and there was shortage of drinking water.  Foodgrain production was estimated to be less by 22.88% as compared to that of last year and oilseeds production was estimated to be less by 17.20%. The crop area under foodgrains, oilseeds and cotton was estimated to have gone down by 25.97 lakh ha during the last kharif and rabi seasons.
 

According to Natural Disasters and Crop Insurance,
http://india.gov.in/citizen/agriculture/natural_schemes.php:

 

• The monsoons play a critical role in determining whether the harvest will be bountiful, average or poor in any given year. Excess rainfall leads to the overflowing of rivers, streams and lakes. This extra water fills low-lying fields and creates a flood situation. Floods destroy not only lives and property but also the entire crop production work carried out in the summer. Certain crops cannot bear excess water and they die leaving the farmer with a burden of debt. The National Commission on Floods has assessed the flood prone area in India to be around 12 per cent of the total area.

• An All-Risk Comprehensive Crop Insurance Scheme (CCIS) for major crops was introduced in 1985, coinciding with the introduction of the Seventh-Five-Year Plan. The National Agricultural Insurance Scheme or NAIS subsequently replaced it in 1999-2000. The NAIS was originally managed by the General Insurance Company. Later on, a new body called the Agriculture Insurance Company of India was formed to implement this scheme.




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