Kerala Disaster Management Plan 2016 gets approval from the CM

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The Kerala Disaster Management Plan-2016 has been approved by the state government led by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan. The plan looks at ways to tackle multitude of disasters with specific directions to handle 39 types of disasters possible in Kerala including floods and landslides.

The approval comes following a high-level meeting led by the Chief Minister, who is also the Chairman of State Disaster Management Authority (SDMA). As per section 23(1) of the Central Disaster Management Plan (CDMP), it is mandatory for every state to have a disaster management plan. Although the Central Disaster Management Rules came into force in 2005, the CDMP was released only this year.

Based on the CDMP and the understanding of disasters in a multi-hazard prone state, a state-level comprehensive plan was formulated by the State Emergency Operations Centre (SEOC) under the Kerala State Disaster Management Authority (KSDMA). Though KSDMA had been involved in disaster management activities in the state since its inception in 2007, a comprehensive state-level plan has been approved now. Apart from seven states, almost all states in the country have a disaster management plan, KSDMA officials said.

It is a statutory requirement for every state to have a disaster management plan and now for the first time, it is made possible. It looks at 39 types of possible disasters in Kerala with preparedness measures in coordination with various departments for the response, rescue and rehabilitation measures. SEOC head scientist Selhar Kuriakose said.

The KDMP-2016 also joins the Disaster Response Fund utilised and Kerala Disaster Control measures as part of the central scheme during the next five-year Plan period. The plan lists out seven significant domains through which centralised support for disaster control measures in Kerala is possible. It includes Social justice oriented disaster risk reduction, strengthening of State Disaster Response Force, Emergency Operations Centres, extending scientific knowledge for disaster risk reduction, Public development schemes with significance on disaster relief, update the disaster prone area studies and renew the state and district level disaster risk reduction schemes.