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Transforming Disasters into Opportunities Experiences from India P.G.Dhar Chakrabarti Executive Director National Institute of Disaster Management Geneva.

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Presentation on theme: "Transforming Disasters into Opportunities Experiences from India P.G.Dhar Chakrabarti Executive Director National Institute of Disaster Management Geneva."— Presentation transcript:

1 Transforming Disasters into Opportunities Experiences from India P.G.Dhar Chakrabarti Executive Director National Institute of Disaster Management Geneva 22 nd November 2005

2 Disasters and Indian ethos Silent disasters like drought, starvation, epidemics, infant mortality and maternal mortality take even heavier toll of life Disasters integral part of living in India High profile disasters like earthquake, cyclone, flood, landslide, avalanche take heavy toll of life Communities have learnt to cope with disasters, but more often they are resigned to their fate Same attitude of fatalism seem to have pervaded State policy or lack of it till nineties

3 Turning point: 4 major disasters between Indian Ocean Tsunami 2004: people dead, 3.5 million houses damaged, 18 million people affected Latur Earthquake 1993: 9475 dead, 1 million houses damaged, 8 million people affected Orissa Super Cyclone 1999: dead, 2 million houses damaged, 15 million affected Gujrat Earthquake 2001: dead, 1.8 million houses damaged, 12 million people affected

4 How disasters changed policies and practices LATUR93 Earthquake resistant construction technology developed for non- engineered constructions with community participation Multi-hazard zoning map of the entire country prepared Disaster management plans prepared for all the districts of Maharastra

5 ORISSA99 Early warning system for cyclone developed Network of cyclone shelters constructed Livelihood restoration integrated in poverty alleviation program High Powered Committee on disaster management set up, Emergency evacuation plans for communities in coastal areas

6 GUJRAT01 National Committee on disaster under Prime Minister New building standards in seismic zones Community based DRM program in 17 States DRR shifted from Agriculture to Home Ministry 8 battalion strong National Disaster Response Force sanctioned Disaster management introduced in curriculum of school education, engineering, architecture, medicine National Institute of Disaster Management set up

7 TSUNAMI04 Disaster Management Bill 2005 introduced in Parliament prescribing legal-institutional framework of disaster management National Disaster Management Authority set up Tsunami Early Warning system approved for 50 million USD Emergency Operation Centre in National, State and District Headquarters Nation wide Disaster Communication Plan National Policy on Disaster Reduction

8 Test of new initiatives: STRONG POINTS Quick response of rescue and evacuation team, restricting casualties to 1150 Relief materials mobilized and distributed with speed and efficiency Immediate financial support announced Plan for intermediary and final shelter finalized in less than two weeks Entire operation conducted without donor assistance Kashmir earthquake 2005

9 WEAKNESS Disaster could not be prevented despite warnings If the epicentre of the quake was a city like Baramulla or Srinagar the losses of life and property could be colossal Civilian response was very slow If the army had not responded quickly the casualties could be more Community involvement in response and reconstruction program was minimal State sponsored rescue and recovery operation may be difficult to be replicated elsewhere

10 Unfinished agenda…. India is finally putting up a legal and institutional system for disaster management in the country But preventive and mitigation aspects continue to be weak Community involvement and participation is rudimentary EWS continues to be weak as Mumbai flood demonstrates Hazard resistant building bye laws notified, but standard of implementation is dismal everywhere Strengthening of lifeline building a huge unattended task Many metropolitan and mega cities are live hotspots


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