On 23 December 2005, the Government of India enacted the Disaster Management Act, which envisaged the creation of National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), headed by the Prime Minister, and State Disaster Management Authorities (SDMAs) headed by respective Chief Ministers, to spearhead and implement a holistic and integrated approach to Disaster Management in India.
The Disaster Management Act has statutory provisions for constitution of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) for the purpose of specialized response to natural and man-made disasters. Accordingly, in 2006 NDRF was constituted with 8 Battalions. At present, NDRF has a strength of 12 Battalions with each Battalion consisting of 1149 personnel.
“Disaster” means a catastrophe, mishap, calamity or grave occurrence in any area, arising fromnatural or man made causes, or by accident or negligence which results in substantial loss of life orhuman suffering or damage to, and destruction of, property, or damage to, or degradation of,environment, and is of such a nature or magnitude as to be beyond the coping capacity of thecommunity of the affected area
“Disaster management” means a continuous and integrated process of planning, organising, coordinating and implementing measures which are necessary or expedient for—
(i) prevention of danger or threat of any disaster;
(ii) mitigation or reduction of risk of any disaster or its severity or consequences;
(iv) preparedness to deal with any disaster;
(v) prompt response to any threatening disaster situation or disaster;
(vi) assessing the severity or magnitude of effects of any disaster;
(vii) evacuation, rescue and relief;
(viii) rehabilitation and reconstruction
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