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No need for separate state level disaster management units, says Supreme Court

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The apex court on May 8 disposed of a PIL asking for every state to establish state disaster management authorities under the Disaster Management Act. The Court said that it was satisfied with the National Disaster Management Authority’s (NDMA) good work and special state disaster management authorities weren’t necessary.

In its judgment, the bench of Justices Madan Lokur and Deepak Gupta, however, made some observations.

The judgment said: “On a review of the steps that have been taken by the NDMA, we are of the opinion that there has been sufficient compliance with the provisions of the Act and it is not necessary for us to issue any particular directions. All we need to say is that it is absolutely necessary for the NDMA constituted at the national level and the State Disaster Management Authority at the state level to be ever vigilant and ensure that if any unfortunate disaster strikes there should be total preparedness and that minimum standards of relief are provided to all concerned.

“However, it would be advisable for the NDMA to regularly publish its Annual Report (the last one on our record is of 2013-14), to review and update all plans on the basis of experiences and to make its website multilingual so that all concerned may benefit.”

—India Legal Bureau

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