Use technology to tackle disasters: SC
Technology now is on a revolutionary path changing the life of man and its vast potentialities have to be used by the government to tackle disasters.
These are thought provoking directions given by the Supreme Court while considering a public interest litigation that sought relief for the farmers in Gujarat,,Bihar and Haryana. The Union Government should insist that different state government’s use such technologies to prepare state action plans to tackle various problems connected with disasters, the court observed.
Though the judgment was delivered by the court two years back in the background of severe drought in those states, the directions given are an eye opener in dealing with any kind of disasters that the Centre or State may face.
The unprecedented floods in Kerala led to the release of water from more than 30 dams in the state that aggravated the situation. What were the causes for the incessant and unprecedented rain?
Scientists will have to analyse that since there are devastating effects around the globe in the background of climate changes. As directed by the Court, technology can be relied upon to find out the causes.
While delivering the judgment, the court had given specific direction to the government to monitor key issues regularly, namely, 1. Rainfall 2. Water level in reservoirs. 3.Surface and ground water level. 4. Crop condition.
Meteorology department has said that this year heavy rains lashed the state beyond all expectations which resulted in the devastating floods. The court had directed that while rehabilitation steps are taken for the victims of disasters, priority should be given to women and children. The National Disaster Management Authority at national and state levels should be ever vigilant and if any disaster strikes, there should be total preparedness to provide effective relief to the victims.
It was due to the direction given by the court that National Distress Response Force was set up by the Union Government. The National Disaster Management Act was set up by the Union Government in 2006 to deal with disaster as well as to prevent and mitigate the effects. Disaster was defined as a catastrophe, mishap, calamity or grave occurrence either natural or man-made.
The court noted with satisfaction that the Disaster Management Manual is a meaningful and well researched document. It was done in 2009 and since then new developments have taken place that have to be incorporated.