NATURAL DISASTER MANAGEMENT:
A Central Sector Plan Scheme on Natural Disaster Management Programme is being implemented from 1993-94. The objectives of the scheme are to focus on disaster preparedness with an emphasis on mitigation and preparedness measures and to enhance the capability of the country to reduce the adverse impact of natural disasters. The programme is also expected to increase the level of awareness of community about disasters. The activities undertaken under the scheme include:-
The Scheme was approved in 1993. The approved outlay for the scheme during the Eighth Five Year Plan is Rs.9.00 crore. Against this, an expenditure of Rs.3.20 crore was incurred under the scheme. An amount of Rs.10.00 crore has been allocated in the Ninth Five Year Plan for the scheme. During 1997-98 an amount of Rs.1.62 crore, during 1998-99 an amount of Rs.1.80 crore and during 1999-2000 an amount of Rs.2.86 crore were spent under the scheme. An allocation of Rs.5.00 crore has been made for the year 2000-2001.
It is felt that even if less than one per cent of the cost of relief and rehabilitation due to the disasters is utilised for disaster preparedness and mitigation measures, the loss due to natural disasters can be reduced substantially thus saving hundreds of crore of rupees.
In spite of best efforts, it has not been possible to undertake activities as originally envisaged and to get the desired levels of results predominantly because of inadequate response from the State Governments, Research Institutions and other Organisations. The NDM Division of the Department has also not adequately equipped to cope with the expanding activities in the field of natural disaster reduction. This was for the first time a scheme of this kind was envisaged and implemented and there has been a perceptible change in the response of the Government and Non-governmental organisations towards the end of the Eighth Five Year Plan. The Maharashtra earthquake of 1993, the cyclone of Andhra Pradesh of 1996, Gujarat in 1998 and Super Cyclone in Orissa in 1999 have been instrumental in generating a lot of concern among the various agencies of Government, non-governmental organisations and the public at large about the adverse impact of natural disasters. Overall, perceptible improvement has been noticed in the utilisation of funds under the Scheme during Eighth Plan period. Further, with more and more emphasis on disaster preparedness and mitigation, the tempo of activities under the plan scheme will be increased.
It is also expected that Faculties on NDM will be created all the 28 States during the year 2001-2002. Further, as per the recommendations of the Eleventh Finance Commission, a National Centre for Calamity Management is to be established under the Ministry of Agriculture to monitor all types of natural calamities, including calamities of rare severity , without any specific reference from the Central Government or State Governments. The National Centre Functions also include to develop expertise for providing training to the States manpower on a regular basis, to keep an inventory of physical resources available at various places for meeting the calamities, and to undertake monitoring and documentation. It is expected that this Centre will be established by the end of current financial year. Entire expenditure on the operation of the Centre will have to be met from the Scheme, until some other source is approved.
With the increase of level of awareness, large numbers of institutions, organisations, NGOs, Government Departments are involving themselves in various disaster reduction related activities. It is also expected more funds will be required for operation of National Centre for Disaster Management as well as faculties on NDM in different States, with widening their scope and number of activities, particularly in the field of human resource development and public education & community participation,
The achievements so far made under this scheme are as under:-
(i) Setting up of a National Centre for Disaster Management in the Indian Institute of Public Administration.
(ii) Setting up of separate Disaster Management Faculties in 18 State Level Training Institutes in the States of Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Gujarat, Haryana, Jammu & Kashmir, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Mizoram, Orissa, Punjab, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal.
(iii) Documentation of major events like U.P. and Maharashtra earthquakes, land slides in Kerala and Sikkim. Drought in Rajasthan and Cyclone mitigation in Andhra Pradesh.
(iv) Organisning/sponsoring of training programmes/seminars on various aspects of natural disaster management.
(v) Public education and community awareness campaign through newspapers and audio visual media and publicity material like projects, books, short films including Do & Donts,
(vi) International cooperation at bilateral and regional level,
(vii) Financial contribution as member of Asian Disaster Reduction Centre, Kobe, Japan, accepting the membership of Board of Trustees and Consultative Committee of Asian Disaster Preparedness Centre, Bangkok, Thailand.
The Plan allocation is as follows:
Occurrences of natural disasters are regular events every year, keeping in view the geographical situation of the country. There is need to take disaster preparedness and mitigation measures on regular basis, taking into account the experience and expertise from in and outside the country besides technological development. Large number of institutions, organizations besides State Governments have now shown their interest /involvement in this field. It is expected that during next year, the activities will be increased to the greater extent. It is also expected that Faculties on NDM will be created all the 28 States during the year 2001-2002. Further, as per the recommendations of the Eleventh Finance Commission, a National Centre for Calamity Management (NCCM) is to be established under the Ministry of Agriculture to monitor all types of natural calamities, including calamities of rare severity , without any specific reference from the Central Government or State Governments. The other functions of the Centre will include developing expertise for providing training to the States manpower on a regular basis, keeping an inventory of physical resources available at various places for meeting the calamities and undertaking monitoring and documentation. It is expected that this Centre will be established by the end of current financial year. Entire expenditure on the operation of the this Centre will have to be met from the Scheme, until some other source is approved. Thus, adequate funds are required under the Scheme for the next financial year.
Occurrence of natural calamities can not be prevented, the correct application of scientific knowledge before, during and after the occurrence can minimise the consequences. While satellite communication has significant potential for real-time dissemination of information and early warning, earth observation satellites enable continuous monitoring of atmospheric as well as earth surface parameters attributing to natural disaster phenomena. Space technology with combined use of satellite communication and satellite remote sensing thus provides valuable, accurate and timely information on natural disaster, like, early warning, occurrence, progressive dangers, impact mapping, damage assessment, quick dissemination of information to population and to government agencies and decision support to disaster mitigation measures.
Remote sensing of vegetation and water on the earths surface and of weather parameters in atmosphere is unique and long established scientific tools. These parameters also signally or combindly provide vital information about drought, flood and cyclone disasters.
Under the central sector scheme on Remote Sensing Application Mission for Agriculture (RSAM-A), Department of Agriculture and Cooperation (DAC) and the Department of Space (DOS) initiated two national programmes, namely, National Agricultural Drought Assessment and Monitoring System (NADAMS) and Near-Real-Time Flood Monitoring which were continued during the 7th Five Year Plan period (1987-1992) and 8th Five Year Plan period (1992-1997). NRSA had been given the task to implement these programmes in cooperation with concerned States and Central government departments.
The Plan Scheme on Natural Disaster Management Information Services through Space Technologies (NDM-ISS) for Ninth Five Year Plan sent by NRSA. The objectives of the Scheme include, to provide operational near-real-time natural disaster information services, to acquire data from all available satellites, retrieval and compilation of parameters related to flood, cyclone and drought, creation of ground-based digital database, creation of natural disaster information database, to integrate the natural disaster information obtained through ground and space observations for generating quick response services through space-based communication links for relief, rehabilitation and long-term disaster mitigation planning ,to organise awareness training programme and awareness services for utilising scientific methods of natural disaster assessment, for contingent measure of relief and rehabilitation and for long-term disaster mitigation planning by the user communities.
(a) Total outlay for the 9th Five Year Plan Rs.18.00 crores
(b) Expenditure incurred during FY 1997-98 Rs. 1.40 crores
(c) Expenditure incurred during FY 1998-99 Rs. 1.56 crores
(d) Expenditure incurred during FY 1999-2k Rs. 1.86 crores
NRSA has proposed an amount of Rs.10.35 crore for the year 2001-2002 for operation of the Scheme.
The Plan allocation is as follows:
Space technology has an important role to play in the field of forecasting, assessment of damage and creating awareness among the disaster manager/users. All over the world, this technology is being used as inputs to the progrmmes/schemes to minimise the adverse effects of the disasters.
NRSA is already taking activities under the Scheme since 1997-98 and incurred an expenditure of Rs.4.82 crore till 1999-2000, for continuation of drought monitoring and flood monitoring projects during this period. Thus there is a need to keep the provision for reimbursement of funds in the annual plan for the year 2001-2002, based on the actual expenditure during the first three years of the Ninth Plan.