All major government departments will come up with their own disaster management plans for the first time this year. This is following a directive by Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa, in the wake of devastating floods that ravaged many districts in the state.
Though such plans for government departments have been mandated under the Disaster Management Act, it was not formulated hitherto.
Speaking to DH, Honnamba S, Director, Karnataka State Disaster Management Authority (KSDMA) said that despite the Act, no department had come up with the plan before being nudged in November this year.
“Till now, all departments were dependent on the State Disaster Plan - formulated annually - for standard operating procedure during times of crisis. Following directions by the chief minister, all 19 major departments of the government will have to formulate their own plans,” she said.
These plans will delineate the role of each department in case of a crisis like the floods witnessed during the previous monsoon season. It will also provide focus areas for different departments to concentrate on and speed up relief and other related activities.
According to Honnamba, all the departments were currently drafting their plans, which will be submitted to KSDMA by January 10. “Drafts are being prepared. As soon as they are submitted, the Authority will rectify any errors or shortcomings and submit it to the government,” she said.
The key aspects of the plan for all departments include preparedness for any disaster and measures for relief for the affected population.
Each department has appointed a nodal officer who will be responsible for the plan. The whole process is being monitored by a sub-committee headed by the Development Commissioner, Honnamba noted.
While 10-12 departments have already submitted their plans, KSDMA is expecting the rest to submit them by January 10. Moreover, the KSDMA is formulating a Disaster Management Policy for the state and is consulting all the departments for the purpose, she added.