Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently released the National Disaster Management Plan (NDMP). This is thefirst ever national plan prepared in the country.
- The plan aims to make India disaster resilient and reduces loss of lives.
- The plan is based on the four priority themes of the “Sendai Framework,” namely: understanding disaster risk, improving disaster risk governance, investing in disaster risk reduction (through structural and non-structural measures) and disaster preparedness, early warning and building back better in the aftermath of a disaster.
- The plan covers all phases of disaster management: Prevention, Mitigation, Response and Recovery.
- It provides for horizontal and vertical integration among all the agencies and departments of the Government.
- The plan also spells out the roles and responsibilities of all levels of Government right up to Panchayat and Urban local body level in a matrix format.
- The plan has a regional approach, which will be beneficial not only for disaster management but also for development planning.
- It is designed in such a way that it can be implemented in a scalable manner in all phases of disaster management.
- It also identifies major activities such as early warning, information dissemination, medical care, fuel, transportation, search and rescue, evacuation, etc. to serve as a checklist for agencies responding to a disaster.
- It also provides a generalised framework for recovery and offers flexibility to assess a situation and build back better.
- To prepare communities to cope with disasters, it emphasises on a greater need for Information, Education and Communication activities.
- It even calls for ethical guidelines for the media for coverage of disasters as well as self-regulation. The plan wants the media to respect the dignity and privacy of affected people.
- Also, in a move aimed to stop rumours and spread of panic, the plan directed the authorities to schedule regular media briefing (depending on the severity of the disaster) and designate a nodal officer for interacting with the media on behalf of the government.