Millennium Post

States flayed for lax approach to disaster management

The Supreme Court on Monday criticised the lax approach of "many" states in taking adequate steps to prepare for disasters, even ten years after a law has been put in place, the Supreme Court observed on Monday.
It also asked the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) to remain ever-vigilant and be ready to deal with natural disasters.

"It is unfortunate that more than ten years after the passage of the (Disaster Management) Act by Parliament, many of the States have not taken adequate steps to ensure that the requirements under the Act were complied with and disaster management plan formulated," a bench comprising Justices Madan B Lokur and Deepak Gupta said in its judgement.

"All we need to say is that it is absolutely necessary for the NDMA constituted at the national level and the State Disaster Management Authority at the state level to be ever vigilant and ensure that if any unfortunate disaster strikes, there should be total preparedness and that minimum standards of relief are provided to all concerned," the bench said.

Disposing of a PIL of advocate Gaurav Bansal who had sought implementation of the provisions of the DM Act, the bench asked the NDMA to publish annual reports and update plans regularly, beside directing it to make its website multi-lingual.

The court took note of the submission made by the NDMA counsel that all states, except Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, have prepared a State Disaster Management Plan and said that the steps taken by the NDMA have been sufficient in compliance with the provisions of the Act.
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