P. K. Giri

Geneva (Switzerland). India has brought about a paradigm shift from the relief centric approach to a holistic approach to the Disaster management in the country, said the Minister of State for Home Shri Mullappally Ramachandran. Speaking at the Conference “Progress towards achieving substantial reduction in Disaster Lossess: global & regional Perspectives” at Geneva last night.


The Minister said that India’s developmental strategy has laid considerable emphasis on reducing the risks of disasters. He said that the Government of India took a defining step by enacting the Disaster Management Act in December 2005, ushering in a paradigm shift in disaster management. 


The other main points of Shri Ramachandran’s address are:

 India has developed early warning systems for all major natural disasters, by harnessing our strength in Science & Technology and Information Technology in disaster risk reduction and preparedness. India has mainstreamed disaster risk reduction in our educational system and implemented the largest community based disaster preparedness program in the world, namely the GOI – UNDP Disaster Risk Management (DRM) Program. Under this DRM Program, about 176 multi-hazard prone districts are covered with about 6000 master trainers; orientation program organized for about 7000 nodal officers / senior officers; more than 13,000 Disaster Management Committee members trained; more than 100,000 teachers trained at district level; and over 13,000 Disaster Management Team members trained in Search & Rescue etc.


The approach aims at sustainable development by integrating disaster mitigation with development process. A National Disaster Management framework has been drawn up, laying down a broad strategy and road map, covering institutional mechanisms, mitigation measures, legal and policy framework, early warning systems, preparedness and response, human resource development, training and capacity building.

To place an improved techno-legal regime, model building bye-laws, town and country planning legislation, zoning and development control regulations have been formulated.

The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), consisting of about 10,000 personnel is trained for emergency response purposes, with the state of the art equipment. Special Incident Management Teams are being developed with training in different aspects of the incident management: logistics, operations, planning, safety, media management etc.,

Different Ministries / Departments of the Central government have drawn up Emergency support function plans. The India Disaster Resource Network, a web enabled centralized data base has been operationalised.


The Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services (INCOIS) set up in 1998-99 at Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh, India has developed into a World Class Premier Institution for the Tsunami Early Warning System with State of the Art equipment and won the prestigious Geospatial Excellence Award in 2008. INCOIS has facilities for Satellite based Disaster Management system; Location Specific Ocean State Forecast; Value added Ocean State Forecast Services for Maritime Board and improved delivery chain of Coastal Sea State forecast.


A National Disaster Communication Network is initiated for providing communication linkages with alternative back up among the national, state and district emergency operation centres as also the mobile emergency operation centres to be set up at the disaster site. The Civil Defence set up in the country is being revamped to play a vital role in all facets of disaster management.


The Gujarat Emergency Earthquake Reconstruction Project has been  implemented successfully with World Bank/Asian Development Bank (ADB) assistance to a tune of US $ 1.76 Billion, between November 2003 and October 2008.Under this project, 125,291 houses have been reconstructed and 41,751 houses have been repaired.

The Government of India is implementing the Rs. 9870 Crore Tsunami Rehabilitation Programme in different states & Union territories, with World Bank / Asian Development Bank assistance. The Government of India has launched the Rs. 8000 Crore Flood Management Program during the XI Plan Period (2007-2012) with Central Assistance to the States for River Management Works; Flood Control Schemes; Anti-erosion works; Drainage Development Works & Schemes; Flood Proofing works and Anti – sea – erosion works.


During the Indian Ocean tsunami, the Government of India extended assistance to neighboring countries, which sought our help. Similarly, we have been quick to offer material and human resources in the case of other recent disasters in the region.           



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