Stressing the need for preventive steps to mitigate disaster risks, Union Home Minister Rajnath Sigh on Monday said the government had almost doubled the State Disaster Relief Fund component to more than Rs 61,000 crore for 2015-20.
“We should adopt essential preventive steps in advance to reduce disaster risks. It’s not just a choice, but a necessity. Prevention is better than cure,” the Minister said during the inaugural session of the two-day second meeting of the National Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction (NPDRR).
The first NPDRR meeting was held in November 2016.
The Minister said the Centre had increased the State Disaster Relief Fund component from Rs 33,580.93 crore in 2010-15 to Rs 61,220 crore in 2015-20 to make the country disaster resilient.
Rajnath Singh said the purpose of this year’s NPDRR event is to prepare a layout till 2030 vis-a-vis disaster management and sustainable development.
“We lost over 10,000 lives and crores of rupees in the 1999 Odisha cyclone, 2001 Gujarat earthquake and the 2004 tsunami.
“To reduce disaster consequences, we will consider its different components like prevention, mitigation preparedness, response, reconstruction and rehabilitation to prepare an action plan from 2017 to 2030 in this meeting,” he said.
Rajnath Singh reminded that India is a disaster-prone country, with over 50 per cent population affected by floods, earthquakes, droughts, tsunamis and cyclones.
India is signatory to various global agreements like the Sustainable Development Goal, Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction and COP21 Paris Agreement on Climate Change for tackling natural disaster.
“Now, our focus is to reduce losses due to disaster,” he said.
Rajnath Singh said India set up the NPDRR, a multi-stakeholder body, in 2013 to minimise loss of lives and property in disasters.
He also emphasised the need to stop activities that caused climate change and advocated an end to environmental degradation to ensure better quality of life and living standards for Indian citizens.
Rajnath Singh said the government had recently asked the ministries to prepare disaster management plans to minimise risks in their respective fields.
“I am told that the Agriculture Ministry has prepared a livestock disaster management plan for the safety of domestic animals, a first-of-its-kind initiative in the world.”
The Minister released a brochure and flyer on the National Database for Emergency Management 3.0, developed by the Department of Space.
Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju, Science and Technology Minister Harsh Vardhan, Home Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi and Prime Minister’s Principal Secretary P.K. Mishra were present at the event.