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proposal to amend the Disaster Management Act of 2005

Published: 11th Feb, 2020

Union Cabinet is taking up the proposal to amend the Disaster Management Act of 2005.


Union Cabinet is taking up the proposal to amend the Disaster Management Act of 2005.


  • The present Act largely focuses on
    • Improving preparedness
    • Providing immediate relief
    • Protecting infrastructure
  • The main drawback of the present policy is it neglects long-term recovery.

A brief about disaster management act, 2005

  • It was enacted to effectively prevent, mitigate (reducing the severity) and prepare for disasters.
  • It came into being on the heels of three major disasters.
    • 1999 - Super cyclone in Odisha
    • 2001 - Bhuj earthquake
    • 2004 - Indian Ocean tsunami.
  • The Act mandated the creation of the National Disaster Management Authority, State Disaster Management Authorities and District Disaster Management Authorities.
  • It laid down the framework, roles and responsibilities of these bodies to formulate and implement disaster management plans at their levels.

The focus of the act is preparedness, that is:

  • Most States invested in resilient infrastructure, early warning systems and evacuation.
  • This translated into
    • timely warnings
    • relief shelters and
    • massive evacuation exercises
  • All these steps have reduced casualties.
  • NDRF and SDRF have helped in providing immediate relief in the aftermath of dis

Long-term recovery

  • Once the hazardous situation is passed, the important aspect is how to ensure recovery.
  • We are seeing disasters from the narrow prism of providing food, water and medicines.
  • At the most, some states are looking at providing shelter.
  • These interventions are crucial, but long-term recovery needs much more.

What is urgently needed?

  • Recovery measures should address inherent vulnerabilities pertaining to livelihoods, education, water, sanitation, health, and ecology of the disaster-affected communities.
  • Intangible losses such as psychosocial needs of the communities should be given equal emphasis.
  • Long-term recovery needs to be thought of alongside development in an integrated comprehensive manner by combining health, skill building and livelihood diversification schemes.
  • This would ensure that communities have, at the very least, recovered to a new normal before the next disaster strikes. This understanding is crucial to the lawmakers looking to amend the Act.

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