DISASTER MANAGEMENT (DM) ACT, 2005 (Syllabus: GS Paper 3 – Disaster Management)

News-CRUX-10     13th June 2024        
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Context: The ongoing spell of extreme heat in many parts of the country has once again reopened discussions on the inclusion of heatwaves as one of the notified disasters under the Disaster Management (DM) Act, 2005.

Disaster Management (DM) Act, 2005

  • Establishment: The National Disaster Management Act (NDMA) was formulated in response to significant natural disasters like the 1999 super-cyclone in Odisha, the 2001 earthquake in Gujarat, and the 2004 tsunami.
  • Creation of Authorities: National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) at the national level.

oState Disaster Management Authorities (SDMAs) at the state level. 

  • Nodal Agency: The Ministry of Home Affairs 
  • Financial Provisions: The Act includes provisions for setting up funds for disaster relief and other emergency situations, ensuring financial resources are readily available during crises.
  • Formation of Agencies: The Act mandates the creation of various agencies and organizations at the national, state, and district levels. These entities are crucial for ensuring efficient disaster response and management.

Notified Disasters

  • Definition: The NDMA defines a disaster as a "catastrophe, mishap, calamity or grave occurrence" caused by natural or man-made factors, resulting in significant loss of life, property destruction, or environmental damage. It must exceed the community's ability to cope.
  • Examples: Cold waves, cyclones, droughts, earthquakes, fires, floods, tsunamis, hailstorms, landslides, avalanches, cloudbursts, pest attacks, and frost waves.
  • Provisions and Invocation: If a state experiences a notified disaster, the provisions of the Disaster Management Act can be invoked.
  • Funds: Under the Act, states can access two funds: the National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF) at the national level and the State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF) at the state level.
  • Reason Heatwave not Included: When the Act came into being in 2005, heatwave or heat-related illnesses, which were quite common in northern India, were not viewed as a disaster.
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