The State of Delhi has been prone to various disasters both natural as well as manmade. The Government of NCT of Delhi recognized the need to have a proactive, comprehensive and sustained approach to disaster management to reduce the detrimental effects of disasters on overall socio-economic development of the State. Further, on a day-to-day basis, Delhi is at risk to numerous hazards, such as earthquake, flood, bomb-blasts, other acts of terrorism, fires, industrial and nuclear, biological & chemical hazards, flash floods, building collapses, road accidents, water logging, etc.
The peculiar setback of Delhi in creating a well co-ordinated and integrated disaster management system has been its traditionally nurtured multiplicity of command, control and co-ordination structures with its myriad institutions, though the consciousness on the need for disaster management has been accepted for long within the government. Hence, an effective and practicable framework for disaster management in Delhi is urgently needed. The framework must provide for institutional structures for unified command, control and co-ordination, with legal sanctity and the ability to achieve the disaster management needs of Delhi (systems that define the roles and responsibilities of each part of government and of institutions, techno-legal regime, awareness generation, capacity building, disaster management plans at all levels, specialized teams, an Incident Command System, etc.) in the broader framework of development.
Hence, Delhi Disaster Management Authority(DDMA) was constituted on 19.03.2008 under the Chairpersonship of Hon’ble Lt. Governor of Delhi for an effective and practicable framework for disaster management in Delhi. The Secretary (DDMA) / Divisional Commissioner of Delhi is the head of the nodal department for disaster management in Delhi and he is the Convenor of the DDMA. The framework created provided for institutional structures for unified command, control and co-ordination, with legal sanctity and the ability to achieve the disaster management needs of Delhi (systems that define the roles and responsibilities of each part of government and of institutions, techno-legal regime, awareness generation, capacity building, disaster management plans at all levels, specialised teams, an Incident Command System, etc.) in the broader framework of development.
Disaster Risk Management programme (GoI-UNDP) which had a framework of 2003-2008 has focused on awareness generation & education, training & capacity development for mitigation and better preparedness in terms of disaster risk management and recovery at community, district and state level, and strengthening of state and district disaster management Emergency Operation Centers.
The key elements of Disaster Management which is being undertaken by this office is awareness Generation, Development of Preparedness & Response Plans at the community and administrative level, development linkages between the Government and Civil Society response and capacity building of Government institution in disaster mitigation, preparedness and recovery. Department has also made efforts to develop database on hazard, risk & vulnerability of NCT of Delhi. Emergency Operation Center at the State Level & district levels have been set up to coordinate relief & rescue during the time of emergency. DRM Programme had also been involved in partnership with academic institution and private sector in development of disaster risk management plans & projects. Various structural & non structural measures are being carried out to reduce disaster impacts and enhance the management skills and improve capacities of the community, local authorities, urban bodies and state authorities to prepare, prevent & respond effectively to disasters.