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National Disaster Management Authority constituted under Chairmanship of Prime Minister

D.N.I.S. News Network - A five-member National Disaster Management Authority (N.D.M.A.) has been constituted by Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh to lay down policies and plans for disaster management.

The N.D.M.A., which was announced on 14 July, will approve the National Disaster Management Plan. It would lay down guidelines for Ministries and Departments of the Central Government and any State authority in drawing up the State plan, an official release stated.

The Prime Minister will be the Chairman of the Authority. Other Members include former Army Chief Gen. N. C. Vij, who will be the Deputy Chairman; former Indian Institute of Technology Bombay Director and retired Chairman of Atomic Energy Regulatory Board Prof. S. P. Sukhatme; former Director-General of Central Industrial Security Force, K.M. Singh; and the former Andhra Pradesh Minister for Environment, M. Sashidhar Reddy.

The N.D.M.A. will also coordinate the enforcement and implementation of the policies and plans for disaster management and arrange for and oversee the provision of funds for mitigation measures, preparedness and response. It may also take such measures for prevention of disaster, mitigation of its effects, or for preparedness and capacity building for dealing with a threatening disaster situation.

The disability sector has been demanding a special focus on the severe impact that disasters have on people with disabilities. The issue came to the fore during the recent Tsunami, after National Centre for Promotion of Employment for Disabled People in association with DPI-India and Chennai-based Vidya Sagar carried out a campaign to get disability included in the rehabilitation of Tsunami victims. The sector has to be alert to ensure that disability issues are duly addressed in the policies and plans for disaster management.