National

House endorses disaster risk management bill

  • To replace law on natural calamities enacted in 1982
- TIKA R PRADHAN, Kathmandu

Sep 26, 2017-Parliament on Sunday unanimously endorsed the Disaster Risk Mitigation and Management Bill-2017, which replaces the Natural Calamity (Relief) Act-1982.

In a move to better address the problems created by natural and man-made calamities, the bill was presented to the House meeting by Home Minister Janardan Sharma.

Unlike the existing Act, the new bill includes man-made disasters and envisages more powerful bodies to cope effectively with disasters hitting the country frequently.

The bill includes epidemics, famine, influenza, forest fire, pandemic flu, snake bite, animal terror, mine accidents, industrial accidents, arson, toxic gas, chemical or radiation leakage, gas explosion, environmental pollution and deforestation as non-natural disasters.

Citing the need for drastic improvements in the existing law, the Home Ministry had presented the bill a few days before the 2015 earthquake.

After the Gorkha Earthquake, the bill was put on hold for the need to address problems posed by the tremors that took nearly 9,000 lives and caused loss of property worth $7 billion.

Part of the blame for the delay was also pinned on the new constitution that 

was close to promulgation outlining a federal structure. The Home Ministry had 

been working on the bill for five years.

The bill envisages a permanent National Disaster Risk Mitigation and Management Centre under the Home Ministry with provincial and local offices.

Taking part in the discussion on the bill, UML lawmaker Gangalal Tuladhar suggested a separate authority instead of the Centre for effective implementation of the law.Lawmaker Prem Suwal had suggested making the concept of disaster more inclusive.

Published: 26-09-2017 09:02

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