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.
The Disaster Management mechanism is needed to take care of the following: -
A.      Saving human life and providing medical help to the victims.
B.      Controlling/ preventing further damage to the property. 
C.      Restoring normal living conditions in the affected area.

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
number of people reach the spot and try to help the victims but they are neither trained nor well equipped to render meaningful assistance and as such add to the confusion. Thus, there is a need to have trained citizens who may give effective support to the Government machinery and supplement its efforts in the hour of need.

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.

Action Plan;-

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.
The medical unit attached with each DMU or group of DMUs be headed by a designated Medical Officer who should have in his custody earmarked stocks of medicines/drugs and necessary equipment's required for giving immediate medical aid so that at the eleventh hour they do not start looking here and there for procuring these things.

(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
  as photo I-cards so that the medical team starts taking assistance from them, if required.

(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 
should  wear  a  different  colour jacket/cap   and should have photo I-Cards.

(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
not take long to reach the place of incident.

(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.

...Justice R.C.Chopra...
Ramesh Chandra Chopra - B.A., LL.B.

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. 
Selected in the first competitive examination held 
for appointments to Delhi Judicial Service in the year 1971. 

Worked as Judicial Magistrate First Class, Metropolitian 
Magistrate, Civil Judge, Senior Civil Judge and Additional District and Sessions Judge between 1972 to 2000. 

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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