|NOTE ON DISASTER MANAGEMENT
PLAN by Justice R. C. Chopra
The need for having an effective and efficient
Disaster Management mechanism is not debatable for the reason that it is
essential to meet situations arising out of natural disasters, accidents
affecting large number, bomb blasts, riots, floods as well as conditions
during war times.
2. Many times situations arising out of
earthquakes, floods, fires, train accidents, bomb explosions or enemy attacks
on civilian population, cannot be handled effectively by Government machinery
on account of enormity of damage and as such public participation becomes
essential. It has also been seen that large
3. National Level Authority as well as State Level Authorities are required to draw, implement and monitor Disaster Management Plans. At District Level we need well equipped and thoroughly trained Government machinery as well as volunteers ready to come forward when the calamity strikes and take immediate steps to manage and control the situation.
4. The following proposals may be considered while preparing a Disaster Management Plan for Delhi:-
(I) The State Level Disaster Management Authority should establish Disaster Management Units to cover all parts of the city and one way for establishing such Units is to set up one Disaster Management Unit for one or two Police Station jurisdictions. This Unit be established in a police station itself for the reason that in case of emergency/calamity the police is the first to swing into action and this Unit being located in the police station itself can also swiftly come into action. SHO of the Police Station or the area SDM may be designated the officers Incharge of such Disaster Management Units. The District Magistrate of the area may be the overall Controlling Officer of all such Units falling within his District.
(II) Essential equipments/machines required for handling building collapse and fire fighting should be kept ready in each of these Units so that in case of a localised and smaller disaster the Disaster Management Unit of that area itself is in a position to handle the situation with the help of Fire Brigade. If the disaster be of greater magnitude additional help may be requisitioned from the Disaster Management Units of the adjoining areas. The equipment may be kept under the custody of the SHO or the officer next to him so that at the time of need these are readily available to DMU, which should start helping victims without any loss of time.
(III) All the police officers attached to a Police Station should be trained to handle rescue operations so that immediately on reaching the place of 'incident they start helping the victims.
(IV) Each DMU should
be directly linked telephonically with a Hospital in the area so that at
the time of emergency the DMU as well as Doctors attached to the particular
DMU may reach the spot without any loss of time and assist the victims
of disaster. The DMU Incharge, Medical Officer and the Fire Officer of
the area may have hotline facilities for communication round the clock
so that in case of emergency they are in touch immediately.
(V) Every DMU to associate PWD Engineers of the area also so that the Engineers also reach the site of incident and guide DMU and others in the matter of rescuing victims trapped inside buildings.
(VI) For each DMU at least 150 responsible volunteers between the age group of 20 to 25 years, preferably college students, be selected for the following emergency duties:-
(a) 50 volunteers be trained in fire fighting and rescue operations. At the time of crisis they should reach the spot wearing a prescribed colour jacket/cap as well as photo I-Cards and start helping the Police/Fire Brigade officials.
(b) 50 volunteers to be trained for Para-Medical
help to assist the Medical Team at the spot.
They should have a separate colour jacket/cap as well
(c) 50 volunteers to be trained for controlling
traffic as well as crowd and protect the person and property of the victims
in the hour of crisis. They
(d) These volunteers may be drawn preferably
from the residential areas falling under the jurisdiction of a DMU with
the help of RWAs so that they do
(e) After the age of 25 these volunteers be retired but should continue to be on the roll of DMU so that they can be summoned as and when required.The vacancies arising out the retirement of the volunteers should be filled up from other eligible persons so that more and more are trained and drafted into the scheme.
(VII) The Commanding Officer of the Army detailed in the area should also be a member of the State Level Disaster Management authority and he should be requested to keep in readiness a separate unit of the army officers to assist the Civil Administration in case of acute emergency. Army officers may also be requested to train the volunteers. It would be better if in due course the trainers are sent to advanced countries also for receiving training and then prepared for imparting training to the volunteers.
(VIII) The advantage of involving general public in the Disaster Management Plan is the quick availability of the locals in the rescue operations and inculcating in them a spirit of social responsibility.
(IX) The volunteers for Disaster Management Units should be given intensive training on holidays and those who exhibit courage and grit during difficult 'situations should be honoured and adequately rewarded by the State.
(X) This Action
Plan does not require heavy expenditure on the part of the Government but
still makes available a large crop of trained hands for meeting an emergency.
Such trained volunteers can effectively assist the Government to manage
and control large-scale disasters and help in avoiding unnecessary chaos
and confusions, which often take place in such situations.
Born on December 18,1943.
Entire education from schoolto college level at Delhi. Passed out from
Law Faculty, Delhi University, Delhi in the year, 1966.
Worked as Judicial Magistrate
First Class, Metropolitian
From 1997 to 2000, worked as Member Secretary, National Legal Services Authority on deputation basis.
Elevated as Judge of the
Delhi High Court on 01.12.2000
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