Hyderabad: The National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) has asked the state governments to "seriously implement" the guidelines framed by it to tackle various disasters.

"The NDMA has framed guidelines for tackling natural, man-made, biological and chemical disasters. States should take this seriously and implement the guidelines in line with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's directives," NDMA vice-chairman M Shashidhar Reddy said here on Monday.

He was speaking at the inauguration of the two-day national conference on Biological Disaster Management, organised jointly by the NDMA and the FICCI.

The NDMA vice-chairman said the guidelines for disaster management were framed after long-drawn consultations among various stakeholders.

"A lot of thinking and efforts have gone into it. If India wants to build resilience, we have to implement the guidelines scrupulously," Shashidhar added.

He also asked the state governments to appoint a full-time vice-chairman for the respective State Disaster Management Authorities and also include a "good panel of experts" as members.

"The SDMAs should not become another sub-committee of the Cabinet," he observed.

"With implementation of the Right to Information Act and judicial activism being on a high, the NDMA is coming under intense scrutiny. The NDMA is being made party to various court cases as also the state governments," he pointed out by underlining the need for effective functioning of NDMA as well as the SDMAs. The NDMA vice-chairman noted that functioning of disaster management cells in various states was "not satisfactory" while the capacity-building measures were also "the weakest".

Union Home Ministry, which hitherto funded the state disaster management cells, would stop doing so and instead states would get a lot of funds under the 13th Finance Commission. The NDMA would soon issue broad guidelines on how the 13th Finance Commission funds could be better utilised, he added.

Funds from the MP's Local Area Development Scheme too would be made available for disaster management initiatives,
Shashidhar said.

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy inaugurated the conference attended by NDMA member Major J K Bansal, state Revenue Minister N Raghuveera Reddy, Defence Research and Development Organisation (Gwalior) Director M P Kaushik among others.

(Agencies)