Furnish details of disaster management plans, SC tells states

New Delhi, Feb 26 (IANS) The Supreme Court on Friday asked the states’ chief secretaries to inform the central government if they have put in place disaster management plan at the state and the district level coupled with making available the personnel to carry out the functions of the state and district disaster management authorities.

A bench of Justice Dipak Misra and Justice Shiva Kirti Singh asked the chief secretaries to tell the central government about the “detailed guidelines” framed by them for providing the standards of relief to the affected people by disaster in the state.

The order came as it was told that the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) has written on Thursday to all the chief secretaries seeking the details of the guidelines for providing standard of relief to the disaster affected people.

Giving the chief secretaries three weeks’ time to send their replies, the court said a copy would be sent to it also.

The court order came in the course of the hearing of a PIL by lawyer Gaurav Kumar Bansal seeking the enforcement of the provisions of the Disaster Management Act, 2005 and a special provisions for the widows and orphans of the victims of disasters.

Addressing the court, Bansal said that a decade after the act’s enactment, there was no national disaster management plan and the statute’s implementation was poor.

“Till date we don’t have a national plan under the Disaster Management Act,” he said, noting that similarly in the states too there was no state level or district level disaster management plan, despite they being statutorily mandated to put in place the disaster management plan and frame guidelines for providing a standard of relief to the diasaster-affected.

Senior counsel Rana Mukherjee, appearing for the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), told the court that it only made the recommendations and they have no authority to enforce them.

The court directed the next hearing of the matter on April 5.

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