‘National Disaster’ Tag

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    Syllabus :GS 3/Disaster Management 

    In News

    • Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister has requested the Prime Minister to declare the destruction caused by heavy rains in the state a national disaster.

    Reasons for Demand 

    • Himachal Pradesh suffered losses of Rs 10,000 crore due to rain-related incidents this monsoon.
      • State demanded that the calamity be declared a national disaster and a special disaster package be announced.

    About National Disaster 

    • There is no official or defined category of “national disasters”. 
    • Disasters of this nature come under the 2005 Disaster Management Act, which defines a “disaster” as “a catastrophe, mishap, calamity or grave occurrence in any area, arising from natural or man made causes, or by accident or negligence which results in substantial loss of life or human suffering or damage to, and destruction of, property, or damage to, or degradation of, environment, and is of such a nature or magnitude as to be beyond the coping capacity of the community of the affected area”.
      • The Act saw the creation of the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA)
      • The Act also led to the National Disaster Response Force. 

    How are states assisted during natural disasters?

    • According to a publication of the National Disaster Management Authority from November 2019, “The state government is primarily responsible for undertaking rescue, relief and rehabilitation measures in the event of a disaster.”
      •  But these can be supplemented with Central assistance.
    • In the event of a calamity of a severe nature, where the requirement of funds for relief operations is beyond the funds available in the State’s Disaster Response Fund account, additional Central assistance is provided from the National Disaster Response Fund, after following the laid down procedure.
    • The Disaster Management Division of the Ministry of Home Affairs will provide support and monitor the utilisation of funds.
      • A Calamity Relief Fund (CRF) is set up, with the corpus shared 3:1 between Centre and state. 
      • When resources in the CRF are inadequate, additional assistance is considered from the National Calamity Contingency Fund (NCCF), funded 100% by the Centre. 
    • The annual Central contribution is released in two equal instalments as per the recommendation of the Finance Commission.
      • The 15th Finance Commission (for 2021-22 to 2025-26) adopted a new methodology for state-wise allocations, based on factors like past expenditure, risk exposure (area and population) hazard and vulnerability of states.

    What is a severe calamity?

    • This classification is based on a specific procedure, where the state government needs to submit a memorandum indicating the sector-wise damage caused by a disaster and its requirement of funds. 
    • A calamity is declared to be of “rare severity”/”severe nature” based on undefined criteria, but factors such as the intensity and magnitude of the calamity, level of assistance needed, etc. are looked at.
      • Relief in repayment of loans or for grant of fresh loans to the persons affected on concessional terms, too, are considered once a calamity is declared “severe”.
    National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA)

    – Setting up of NDMA and the creation of an enabling environment for institutional mechanisms at the State and District levels is mandated by the Disaster Management Act, 2005.
    – It is headed by the Prime Minister of India, is the apex body for Disaster Management in India. 
    – It is mandated to lay down the policies, plans and guidelines for Disaster Management.  

    State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF) 

    – It has been constituted in each State under Section 48 (1) (a) of the Disaster Management Act, 2005. 
    – It is the primary fund available with State Governments for responses to notified disasters. 
    – The Central Government contributes 75% to the SDRF in general States and 90% in North-East and Himalayan States.
    1. SDRF shall be used only for meeting the expenditure for providing immediate relief to the victims.

    The National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF) 

    – It is constituted under Section 46 of the Disaster Management Act, 2005, supplements SDRF of a State, in case of a disaster of severe nature, provided adequate funds are not available in SDRF.

    National Disaster Response Force (NDRF)

    – The Disaster Management Act has statutory provisions for the constitution of the NDRF for the purpose of specialized response to natural and man-made disasters. 
    – At present, NDRF has a strength of 16 Battalions with each Battalion consisting of 1149 personnel.

    Source: IE