HPC on disaster management plans
Background, Approaches, Strategies and Prospects
Why a High Powered Committee?
India is one of the most disaster prone countries, vulnerable to almost all natural and man made disasters. About 85% area is vulnerable to one or multiple disasters and about 57% area is in high seismic zone including the capital of the country. There is an enormous loss of life and property every year by these calamities. UN declared 1999-2000 as IDNDR - and the focus of decade was that all countries should have their disaster management plan at national, state and district level.India also has a Contingency Action Plan at a national level. We have disaster relief manuals at state level and disaster plans at district level but these plans are not updated and mainly focus only on relief and now the Government's focus is on preparedness and mitigation.
The High Powered Committee (HPC) was constituted in August 1999 under the chairmanship of J.C.Pant. The mandate of the HPC is to prepare comprehensive model plans for disaster management at the national, state and district levels. This is the first attempt in India towards a systematic comprehensive and holistic look at all disasters.
Terms of reference of HPC are:
Important aspects for consideration of HPC are:
- Review of existing arrangements for preparedness and mitigation of natural and manmade disasters.
- Recommendations for strengthening existing organizational structures.
- Preparation of model disaster management plans at the national, state and district levels.
Planning components - subgroups set up by HPC
- Measures for efficient forecasting and warning.
- Existing system of response mechanism in the wake of natural and man-made disasters at all levels of government and steps to minimize the response time through effective communication and measures to ensure adequacy of relief operations.
- Development programs related to mitigation of disaster management in different areas and priorities and strategies for inclusion of disaster reduction components in the on-going plan/non-plan schemes.
- Measures for intensive training for building human resources to improve awareness and capabilities.
- Public awareness programs to build up society's resilience to disasters.
- Pro-active measures for disaster preparedness and mitigation - administrative, financial, legislative and techno-legal.
- Measures and programs to harness the state - of art IT for effective communication network.
- Networking mechanism by government/non government organization
- Updating of codes, manuals, disaster management plans, items of relief, norms of assistance of State Governments.
- Examining house -building practices/codes and mechanisms for hazard zonation surveys.
- Structural measures for disaster mitigation and preparedness - improving design of check dam's rising, relocation of flood-prone villages, renovation/de-silting of ponds, improved emergency draining systems.
- Any other matters incidental or related to natural and man-made disasters.
- Efforts towards integration of concerned agencies departments/Ministers, NGOs, professional institutions like IIT's, IIM's,CSIR Labs, and educational institutions like NCERT, COBSE,NOS,AIU
- Water and climate related hazards
- Geological hazards
- Chemical/Industrial/nuclear disasters
- Accident related disasters
- Biological disasters
- The trigger mechanism has been conceptualized as an 'emergency quick response mechanism' which sets into motion the required prevention and mitigation measures without any loss of time with the primary objective of reducing to the extent possible, the human misery and loss of resources.