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Notified Disasters

Notified Disasters:

The ongoing spell of extreme heat in many parts of the country has once again reopened discussions on the inclusion of heatwaves as one of the notified disasters under the Disaster Management (DM) Act, 2005.

  • The Disaster Management Act, 2005, defines a disaster as a “catastrophe, mishap, calamity or grave occurrence” arising from natural or man-made causes that results in substantial loss of life, destruction of property, or damage to the environment.
  • The Act includes 12 categories of notified disasters, which are: Cyclone, Drought, Earthquake, Fire, Flood, Tsunami, Hailstorm, Landslide, Avalanche, Cloudburst, Pest attack, Frost and cold waves
  • These notified disasters are eligible for relief assistance under the State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF) and National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF).
  • The SDRF is primarily used for immediate relief to victims of notified disasters, while the NDRF supplements the SDRF in cases of severe disasters where funds are insufficient.
  • However, heatwaves are not currently included as a notified disaster under the Act.
  • Although heatwaves are a significant concern in India, particularly in certain regions, the Finance Commission has not been convinced to expand the list of notified disasters.
  • States can use up to 10% of their SDRF allocation for local disasters, including heatwaves, which some states have done.