National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA)

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    • 17th formation day of the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) was celebrated on 28th September 21.
      • The theme of this year’s Formation Day is cascading effects of disaster events in the Himalayan region.

    National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA)

    • Formation:
      • It is the apex statutory body for Disaster Management in India, established through the Disaster Management Act, 2005.
      • The Disaster Management Act envisaged the creation of the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), headed by the Prime Minister, and State Disaster Management Authorities (SDMAs) headed by respective Chief Ministers, to spearhead and implement a holistic and integrated approach to Disaster Management in India.
    • Functions & Responsibilities:
      • Lay down policies on disaster management.
      • Approve plans prepared by the ministries or departments of the Government of India in accordance with the National Plan
      • Lay down guidelines to be followed by the state authorities in drawing up the State Plan
      • Coordinate the enforcement and implementation of the policy and plans for disaster management
      • Recommend provision of funds for the purpose of mitigation
      • Provide such support to other countries affected by major disasters as may be determined by the Central Government
      • Lay down broad policies and guidelines for the functioning of the National Institute of Disaster Management.
      • It develops practices, delivers hands-on training and organizes drills for disaster management. It also equips and trains disaster management cells at the state and local levels.

    Shortcomings of the NDMA

    • The role of NDMA was questioned during the Uttarakhand floods of 2013, where it failed to timely inform people about the flash floods and landslides.
    • The post-disaster relief response had been equally poor due to poor planning of NDMA that lead to unfinished projects.
    • A Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India report in 2013 noted that the NDMA had no information and control over the progress of disaster management work in the states, neither could it successfully implement various projects it had initiated for disaster preparedness and mitigation. 
    • There were huge delays in the completion of river management activities and works related to border areas projects which were long-term solutions for the flood problems of Assam, north Bihar and eastern Uttar Pradesh.
    • Misutilization of expenditure and several critical posts in NDMA are vacant

    COVID-19 and NDMA

    • The lockdown imposed to curb the pandemic has given the  NDMA power in handling this under the Disaster Management Act, 2005.
    • NDMA has come under criticism of the Supreme Court on the issue of ex-gratia to the family members of those who died due to COVID-19.

    Source: HT