Disaster Planning & Management
Suggestive Strategies, Recommendations and Action Plan for Disaster Mitigation, Prevention and Preparedness:
Government of India Expert Group
( Government of India, Ministry of Agriculture, Department of Agriculture & Cooperation, Natural Disaster Management http://ndmindia.nic.in )
Government of India has taken several initiatives for strengthening disaster reduction strategies. Government of India constituted an Expert Group to examine the related issues and evolve recommendations for improving preparedness and prevention with respect to natural disasters caused by earthquakes, floods and cyclones. (The current national policy http://ndmindia.nic.in/manageplan/nationalpoli.html )
The Expert Group appointed by the Govt. of India examined the current status of work being carried out in these areas:
Monitoring of Hazards
Prediction and Forecasting
Retrofitting of Existing Unsafe Structures and Buildings
Disaster Risk Assessment and Mapping
Preparation of Building Guidelines
Assessing Gaps in the Above. Filling them as much as possible
The Report has covered the following issues:
- Identification of various hazard prone areas.
- Vulnerability and Risk Assessment ofBuildings
- Disaster damage scenarios,
- Technical Guidelines for Hazard ResistantConstruction of Buildings.
- Upgrading of Hazard Resistance of Existing Housing Stock by Retrofitting, and
- Techno-Legal Regime to be adopted
Based on the findings as above, the Group has recommended strategies to be adopted and Action Plan for consideration of the Government. The Group feels strongly that these need to be urgently considered for evolving a national policy keeping in view of the Govt. of India's commitment to the Yokohama Strategy for Natural Disaster Reduction. Groups recommendations and proposed Action Plan are presented in Chapters 10, 11, and 12. The major issues are highlighted hereunder:
The first and the foremost is to restructure the National Policy on disaster management reflecting the holistic approach involving prevention, mitigation and preparedness in pre-disaster phase with appropriate additional funding, along with the so far existent policy of the post-disaster relief and rehabilitation under crisis management.
Creation of awareness for disaster reduction is urgently needed amongst policy makers, decision makers, administrators, professionals (architects, engineers and others at various levels) financial institutions (banks, insurance, house financing institutions) and NGOs and voluntary organizations.
Creating awareness for improving preparedness amongst the communities, using media, school education, and the network of the building centre.
Appropriate amendments in the legislative and regulatory instruments (state laws, master plans, development area plan rules, building regulations and bye-laws of local bodies) along with strengthening of the enforcement mechanisms at different levels.
Capacity building at local and regional levels for undertaking rapid-assessment surveys and investigations of the nature and extent of damage in post disaster situations.
Conducting micro-zonation surveys of large urban areas falling in the disaster prone regions and preparing appropriate preparedness and mitigation plans on an urgent basis.
To ensure use of disaster resistant construction techniques in all housing and other buildings to be undertaken under the Central and State schemes.
Making mandatory, the use of disaster resistant codes and guidelines related to disaster resistant construction in the houses and buildings in all sectors of the society by law and through incentives and disincentives.
To create a suitable institutional mechanism at national/state level to advise and help the existing disaster relief set up in formulation and updating of short and long range action plans for the preparedness, mitigation and prevention of natural disasters. (the mechanisms suggested are establishment of a National Scientific and Technical Committee at Central level and Natural Disaster Mitigation Centres at State levels).
To promote the study of natural disaster prevention, mitigation and preparedness as subjects in architecture and engineering curricula.
To create detailed database on hazard occurrences, damage caused to buildings and infrastructure and the economic losses suffered and ensure its accessibility to interested researchers for effective analysis of costs of disasters and benefits of mitigative actions.
To devise appropriate policy instrument and funding support for urgent disaster preparedness and prevention actions in high risk areas including upgrading the resistance of existing housing and related structures and systems.
To include R&D work in disaster preparedness, mitigation and prevention as a thrust area so that adequate funds are earmarked for the schemes of R&D organizations as well as the concerned Central Ministries and State Governments.