DISASTER MANAGEMENT

India witnessed the major devastation caused by super cyclone which hit Orissa on 29th October 1999 and Earthquake in Bhuj, Gujrat on 26th January 2001. The policy notes that State Governments are primarily responsible for disaster management including prevention and mitigation. Administrative approach is changing from welfare mode to development mode.

The department of Disaster Management is the nodal department of the State Government for coordinating all activities relating to the whole cycle of Disaster Management – preparedness, mitigation, prevention, response, relief and rehabilitation. The objective is to integrate disaster mitigation development planning. In the present context of things, Government has accepted responsibility to provide Normal Relief Assistance to Certain Section of People during normal time and to provide relief to the people affected by any natural calamity. The Government has also accepted the task of disaster management with a view to reducing risk of the people in time of disaster. With the change of time, the age old concept of Relief has been widened into the broader spectrum of Disaster Management. To implement the holistic approach of Disaster Management in our state, its organizational setup should be strengthened from the state level down to the gram samsad level.

After strengthening the Panchayat Raj Institutions, the role of ZillaParishad, PanchayatSamiti& Gram Panchayats have become very much important in the planning & implementation of Disaster Management Policy. It is the range of activities designed to mitigate the effects of disaster and emergency situations and to provide a framework for helping people at risk to avoid or recover from the impact of disasters. Managing disaster include steps to be taken prior to, during and after the disaster and involves preparedness, mitigation, response and recovery.

Power & Function

The state Disaster Management Authority shall have the responsibility for laying down the policies and plans for disaster management in the state as provided in section 18 of the Disaster Management Act, 2005. As provided under section 30 of the Disaster Management Act 2005, the District Disaster Management Authority shall act as the district planning, coordinating and implementing body for disaster management and take all measures for the purpose of disaster management in the district in accordance with the guidelines laid down by the National Authority and State Authority. Suitable Organization has been evolved in this State at all appropriate level to draw up coordinated plans for setting up Disaster Management Operations. The unit of Disaster Management Organization should be the Gram Panchayat. The Gram Panchayats in an area should be formed into Block, each under a Block Development Officer. A Disaster Management Officer appointed by the Director of Disaster Management, W.B. is placed under the B.D.O.

In the Sub-Division a Sub-Divisional Disaster Management Officer is placed under the S.D.O. and a District Disaster Management Officer is placed under the District Magistrate. In the Directorate, Disaster Management Officer and Senior Disaster Management Officer are placed under the Disaster Management headed by a Director assists the Secretary of Disaster Management for execution of all Disaster Management operations at the state level.

RELIEF

The schemes under each of three categories of relief / assistance are as under: –

Normal Relief :

  • Gratuitous Relife (G.R.)
  • Normal G.R. (Leprosy)
  • Starvation G.R.
  • Special Relief to Rapeseed oil victims of Belaha 2 and adjoining areas.

Emergency Relief:

  • Special G.R.
  • Relief Contingency
  • Relief Materials
  • House Building Grant for N/C & Accidental Fire.

Other Assistance:

  • Ex-gratia Grant to the bereaved families of victims of Natural Calamities & Fire Accident.
  • Economic Rehabilitation Grant.
  • Financial Assistance from Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund.
  • Schemes for Construction of (i) Relief Godawn, (ii) Flood / Cyclone shelters.