12 June, 2021

A Paper Boat

Will the policy invest in risk mitigation at local levels?

A Paper Boat
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53
The wake-up call was too loud and way too costly this time. So, during his visit to the tsunami-hit Andamans last weekend, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh announced the setting up of the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), a mechanism that will come into action every time disaster strikes. The legislation is being drafted and a bill will be introduced in the budget session.

With our vast landmass, lengthy coastlines, different climatic zones, variance in resource availability and population density, disaster mitigation in India offers a gargantuan logistical problem. And then there are very-low-probability events such as tsunamis.

Says Ravi Sinha, professor at the department of civil engineering, IIT, Bombay, "In India, disaster management was typically reactive. But in the last few years, particularly following the International Decade on Natural Disasters Reduction, steps are being taken to limit the effect of future disasters." For Mihir Bhatt, director of the Ahmedabad-based Disaster Mitigation Institute, the key issue is "shifting national focus from...

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