Centre defends disaster control plan

Mumbai, Nov 21 | Updated: Nov 22 2005, 06:35am hrs
The Centre on Monday strongly defended the formulation of a National Disaster Management Plan (NDMP) in a serious bid to prevent hazards from turning into disaster.

The government has moved into this direction at a time when the country has already seen four major cyclones in Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat and Orissa. Similarly, there were six major earthquakes. Around 8,000 km coastline is prone to cyclones. About 60% of land mass is prone to earthquakes, over 40 million hectares is prone to floods and 68% of the area is susceptible to drought.

According to DK Shankaran, secretary (border management), home ministry said that the district, state and national level machinery has geared up to effectively mitigate disasters. National core groups on earthquake, cyclone and landslide risk mitigation have been constituted, he added.

He was speaking at a seminar on national disaster management plan organised by All India Association of Industries.

Moreover, Mr Shankaran said the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) has introduced Disaster Management as a subject for classes VII, IX and X. The course on disaster management has also been included in the curriculum for engineering and architecture students.

The curriculum has recently been introduced by the national authority which will prepare a national disaster management plan for the country in consultation with the state government. The national plan shall include measures for prevention and mitigation of disasters, integration of mitigation measures in the development plans, preparedness and capacity building to effectively respond to disasters, said Mr Shankaran.

The secretary said that the state government will have to set up a State Disaster Management Authority (SDMA) which will be responsible for laying down the policies and plans for disaster management in the state.