Friday, September 24, 2010

Misplaced Priority of National Disaster Management Authority

The Vice Chairman National Disaster Management Authority, Gen N. C. Vij released the ‘National Disaster Management Guidelines – Management of Drought’ compiled by the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), here today. Speaking on the occasion he emphasized that drought is not merely a physical phenomenon characterised by conditions of soil, water and vegetation. It has a very deep implication on the social life and behaviour pattern of rural people.

The Guidelines for the Management of Drought have been formulated after a ‘nine step’ process fully taking on board various Central Ministries and Departments and the States. The process also included wide consultations with scientific and technical institutions, academics, technocrats and humanitarian organizations. The draft guidelines documents were circulated to all the Ministries/Departments at the Centre and the States for their feedback. All workable suggestions have been incorporated. (only six out of nine steps have been described the other three presumably falls under OSA- probably and perhaps not disclosed)

NDMA in its guidelines has identified many current challenges in drought management including;
  • criteria followed for drought declaration and the time when the drought is declared differs across the states
  • indicators used and the methodology followed for drought intensity assessment and drought monitoring differ largely from state to state
  • data sharing for drought assessment and drought declaration
  • insufficient use of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) tools by various agencies in management of drought
  • Lack of check dams in the rainfed areas results in inadequate storage-water in times of need or drought
  • Lack of community participation in drought management activities at the village/tehsil level, and the low levels of involvement of Self Help Groups, NGOs and the corporate sector.
    Read more:
    NDMA Guidelines on Management of Drought Released

    Comments and Suggestions
    NDMA should focus on Disasters and not on Drought (which is only a water management problem).
    NDMA has a Vision but no Mission
    What then should be NDMA's Mission Statement?
    NDMA mission should be to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.

    What is Disaster?
    It strikes anytime, anywhere. It takes many forms- a hurricane, an earthquake, a tsunami, a flood, a fire or a hazardous spill including radioactive contamination, an act of nature or an act of terrorism. It builds over days or weeks, or hits suddenly, without warning. Every year, millions of Indians face disaster (On going floods in India is an example), and its terrifying consequences.

    What is Drought?
    Drought is only one component of a disaster which is mainly due to lack of rainfall (leads to farmers distress) caused mainly by excessive deforestation and compounded by man's greed to deplete natural resources. This should be addressed mainly by the Environment, Irrigation and Agriculture Ministry. The bureaucrats need to get their act together to Manage Disasters. Just by merely placing a retired General as Vice Chairman is not likely to improve Disaster management!
  • No comments:


    The contents posted on these Blogs are personal reflections of the Bloggers and do not reflect the views of the "Report My Signal- Blog" Team.
    Neither the "Report my Signal -Blogs" nor the individual authors of any material on these Blogs accept responsibility for any loss or damage caused (including through negligence), which anyone may directly or indirectly suffer arising out of use of or reliance on information contained in or accessed through these Blogs.
    This is not an official Blog site. This forum is run by team of ex- Corps of Signals, Indian Army, Veterans for social networking of Indian Defence Veterans. It is not affiliated to or officially recognized by the MoD or the AHQ, Director General of Signals or Government/ State.
    The Report My Signal Forum will endeavor to edit/ delete any material which is considered offensive, undesirable and or impinging on national security. The Blog Team is very conscious of potentially questionable content. However, where a content is posted and between posting and removal from the blog in such cases, the act does not reflect either the condoning or endorsing of said material by the Team.
    Blog Moderator: Lt Col James Kanagaraj (Retd)