Disaster prevention, mitigation and management

Ques. “Little seems to have been done by the State governments, past and present, in the area of disaster prevention, mitigation and management” Comment.

India is one of the most vulnerable developing countries to suffer very often from various natural disasters, namely drought, flood, cyclone, earth quake, landslide, forest fire, hail storm, locust, volcanic eruption, etc. Which strike causing a devastating impact on human life, economy and environment. WHO defines Disaster as “any occurrence, that causes damage, ecological disruption, loss of human life, deterioration of health and health services, on a scale sufficient to warrant an extraordinary response from outside the affected community or area”.

Impact of disasters:

  • Impact is Unavoidable for National for National Security
  • Sudden socio-economic changes
  • Bio-diversity disturbed- plants- animals- sources of food
  • Environmental degradationerosion- diseases etc.
  • Quality of life decline
  • Whole family disturbed- divided- fragmented
  • Charitybegging- food aid.
  • Social chaoscrimeunrest- evilsterrorism.
  • Realization of economic and social injusticesNational
  • Insecurityboth at national and regional level.
  • Loss of faith for the nationa nation is not a nation.
  • Some other dangerous consequences for the individual- society and nation as a whole


  1. Familiarity with the super technology overall
  2. Scientific methods of forecasting.
  3. Identification of the various types of disaster and their sources.
  4. Every types of disasters needs different measures to control
  5. Transport system- connectivity should be well identifies
  6. Location of submerged villages should be known
  7. Identify the priority areas for relief –Uttrakhand flood in 2013.
  8. Assured base of irrigation in drought prone region.
  9. Regional sources of quick information and headquarter of material collection
  10. Delay tactics- procedures should be minimum – example Uttrakhand

Uttrakhand scenario

Prevailing conditions:

  • Flash floods pummelled the Alaknanda, Bhagirathi, Mandakini, Gori Ganga, Pindar, and Kali rivers. According to official data, 4,190 people died in the disaster, more than 2,500 buildings were completely destroyed, and 2,070 roads and 145 bridges were damaged.
  • Locals continue to remain the government’s second priority. Rehabilitation of villagers is still incomplete. Locals continue to make trips to their tehsildars, patwaris, sub-divisional magistrates, and district magistrates for pending compensation issues, to appeal for the construction of safety walls and for the rebuilding of roads and bridges.
  • Roads have been reconstructed, but by boring deeper into the mountains, already subject to constant erosion by the river flowing beside them. At some places, protection walls have been built; at others, debris from landslides has been left as it is, blocking the roads this monsoon season too.
  • The Earthquake Risk Map of India places 13 districts in Uttrakhand under seismic zone IV (severe intensity zone) and V (very severe intensity zone). Despite this, several dams and roads have been constructed along fault lines.
  • According to the authorities, nothing more than regular training and awareness programmes are being conducted on disaster management in case of an earthquake.

Measures needed:

  • A combined effort needs to take place between the State Disaster Management department, the State Disaster Management Authority, the meteorological department, and other departments.
  • Establishing micro hydel projects, solar projects, stopping illegal mining, strengthening Van Panchayats, and demarcating cultural eco-sensitive zones for the conservation of biodiversity.
  • A population of around 7 lakh, which was dependent on the earnings from religious tourism, has been affected. Lack of livelihood opportunities and safety concerns are resulting in migration from the affected areas. The State is in dire need of a fast-paced development plan that is also sensitive to the fragile ecosystem.
  • The missing momentum in development efforts coupled with a change in leadership and redevelopment plans implies that political will is necessary for the State to develop while addressing environmental concerns.
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