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The National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) has issued a series of guidelines for restarting manufacturing industries after the lockdown period.

Certain economic activities have already been allowed on gradual lifting of restrictions in some zones.

Highlights of the guidelines

  • Instructions have been issued on safekeeping of hazardous and flammable materials.
  • Guidelines also pertain to chemical disasters, management of chemical (terrorism) disasters, and strengthening of safety and security for transportation of Petroleum, Oil and Lubricants (POL) tankers.
  • The State governments have been told to ensure, through the district officials concerned, that the off-site disaster management plan of the respective Major Accidental Hazard (MAH) units are up-to-date.
  • Employees are to be sensitised to identify abnormalities such as strange sounds or smell, exposed wires, vibrations, leaks, smoke, abnormal wobbling, irregular grinding or other potentially hazardous signs requiring urgent attention.
  • All lockout and tag-out procedures should be in place on a daily basis.
  • Specific orders have been given on storage of raw material, manufacturing processes, storage of products and functioning of workers, besides physical and social distancing measures.
  • The employers should provide hand santisers, masks, face protection shields and PPEs, ensure 24-hour sanitisation of the factory premises, accommodation of workers should also be sanitised regularly, and their temperature checked twice a day.
  • Those showing symptoms should not report to work.

National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA)

  • National Disaster Management Authority, abbreviated as NDMA, is an apex Body of Government of India, with a mandate to lay down policies for disaster management.
  • NDMA was established through the Disaster Management Act enacted by the Government of India on 23 December 2005.
  • Hence, NDMA is a Statutory body.
  • NDMA is responsible for framing policies, laying down guidelines and best-practices for coordinating with the State Disaster Management Authorities (SDMAs) to ensure a holistic and distributed approach to disaster management.
  • It is headed by the Prime Minister of India and can have up to nine other members. Since 2014, there have been four other members.
  • The tenure of the members of the NDMA shall be five years.
  • The phrase disaster management is to be understood to mean ‘a continuous and integrated process of planning, organising, coordinating and implementing measures, which are necessary or expedient for prevention of danger or threat of any disaster, mitigation or reduction of risk of any disaster or severity of its consequences, capacity building, preparedness to deal with any disaster, prompt response, assessing the severity or magnitude of effects of any disaster, evacuation, rescue, relief, rehabilitation and reconstruction’.

Disaster Management Act, 2005

  • The Disaster Management Act, 2005, (23 December 2005) received the assent of The President of India on 9 January 2006.
  • The Act extends to the whole of India.
  • The Act provides for “the effective management of disasters and for matters connected there with or incidental thereto.”
  • The Act calls for the establishment of National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA).
  • The Act under Section 8 enjoins the Central Government to Constitute a National Executive Committee (NEC).
  • All State Governments are mandated under Section 14 of the act to establish a State Disaster Management Authority (SDMA).
  • The Chairperson of District Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) will be the Collector or District Magistrate or Deputy Commissioner of the district.
  • The Section 44–45 of the Act provides for constituting a National Disaster Response Force “for the purpose of specialist response to a threatening disaster situation or disaster” under a Director General to be appointed by the Central Government.

-Source: The Hindu

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