SC directs Centre to draft national plan on disaster management
The Supreme Court on Tuesday directed the government to formulate a national plan on disaster management, which will provide relief and rehabilitation to calamity-affected persons.
A Bench of Justices Dipak Misra and Shiva Kirti Singh asked the Centre to draw up the plan within eight weeks, after it was submitted that such a draft was already in its final stages and pending approval.
The counsel appearing for the Centre submitted that at present there is no national plan for disaster management, although a policy existed with regard to relief and rehabilitation of those affected.
The counsel further said the draft plan is already ready and pending final approval,which will be done within a month.
“Why do you have no plan? It is an Act of 2005. For year after year, you have not approved the national plan. It has to start from the top, then the states will follow,” the Bench said. The court also issued notice to the Centre and the states, seeking their replies in six weeks, on an application regarding the framing of a concrete National Plan to deal with the post-disaster situation.
The interlocutory application, filed by advocate Gaurav Bansal, said the aftermath of disasters, death, destruction and trauma affect the victims, who get into unacceptable miserable situation. “The petitioner would contend that there are many states, which suffer from disasters that eventually lead to economic disaster, and would include disaster in the sphere of agriculture,” it said, while seeking formulation of a national plan for disaster management and implementation of the Act.
On February 26, the SC had directed the states Chief Secretaries to frame and comply with norms under the Disaster Management Act on the issue of minimum standard of relief to affected persons.