ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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A Decade of Disaster Risk Management in India

Natural Disasters are set to increase in the coming years. Climate change, coupled with a growth in population and insufficient enforcement of building codes in high-risk zones, has not only heightened India's vulnerability to the impact of disasters but also created new challenges to risk management. Approaching a decade after the implementation of the Disaster Management Act of 2005, how far have we been able to manage risk; how far are we resilient as a country? As the Disaster Management Act goes under review, this article suggests recommendations based on the experiences in Uttarakhand and Odisha.

The frequency and severity of natural disasters1 in India are increasing. In 2013-14 alone India witnessed several major natural disasters – floods and landslides in Uttarakhand, drought in Maharashtra, cyclones Phailin and Hudhud in Odisha and Andhra Pradesh, respectively – that affected millions of people and caused an unprecedented scale of financial loss, including the cost of response and recovery. The level of intensity and the degree of loss raise the question regarding the effectiveness/preparedness of disaster risk management in India.

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