In the past, it was the Department of Relief. At that time, the main objectives were to oversee the matters of relief, rescue and rehabilitation. But the thought of relief centric approach has been changed to a disaster management approach throughout the world. In this view, the Central Government has taken "Disaster Management Act, 2005" and keeping the change, the Department of relief was renamed as Department of Disaster Management in 2006.
West Bengal is the only state in the country where this departmental structure exists in all tiers of the administration (District, Sub-Divison, Block). The department works under the leadership of the Block Development Officers in the blocks, Sub Divisional Officers in the sub-divisions and the District Magistrates in the Districts.
The aim of the department is to establish necessary systems, structures, resources, capabilities and guiding principles for reducing disaster risks and preparing for and responding to disasters in order to save lives and property, avoid damage to environment and to ensure the continuity and sustainability of development.
- To assess the risks and vulnerabilities associated with various disasters.
- To minimize the effect of natural disasters and save the life and property of the common people.
- To ensure relief assistance to the affected people.
- To create awareness and preparedness.
- To arrange training to aware and to strengthen the capacity to combat against disasters.
- To develop communications with the common people.
- To prevent or reduce the hazards faced by the common people.
- To stop the death of the people due to starvation or unavailability of food.
The major activities of the department includes pre-disaster preparation for relief, rescue and rehabilitation, storing tarpaulins, clothing and other relief articles , construction of multi-purpose shelter for the community in the flood and cyclone prone areas, providing one time grant for economic rehabilitation of the people in BPL list under different schemes, distributing rice and wheat to the destitute and poorest people throughout the year.
At present the activities of the department has spread to wider areas. Under Disaster Risk Reduction Program, disaster risk mapping and preparedness, vulnerability mapping, proving practical ideas to reduce disaster risk in development planning, capacity building of the vulnerable communities through continuous training are some of the important activities that the department undertakes.
|Type of Hazards||Time of Occurrence||Potential Impact||Vulnerable Areas|
|Cyclone / Tornado.||March to June & October to December.||
||All areas under Ketugram-II Development Block & Panchayat Samity.|
|Flood.||September to October.||
||Parts of Sitahati, Mougram, Gangatikuri, Nabagram & Billeswar Gram Panchayat.|
|Sunstroke.||April to June.||N/A.||All areas under Ketugram-II Development Block & Panchayat Samity.|
|Fire.||January to December.||N/A.||All areas under Ketugram-II Development Block & Panchayat Samity.|
|Boat capsize.||September to October.||N/A.||N/A.|
|Epidemic.||April to September.||N/A.||All areas under Ketugram-II Development Block & Panchayat Samity.|
|Accident.||January to December.||N/A.||All areas under Ketugram-II Development Block & Panchayat Samity.|
|Lightning.||January to December.||N/A.||All areas under Ketugram-II Development Block & Panchayat Samity.|
|Name of Office||Contact telephone numbers / Fax numbers|
|S.D.O., Katwa, Burdwan.||
|District Disaster Management Officer, Burdwan.||
|Sub Divisional Disaster Management Officer, Katwa, Burdwan.||
|Block Development Officer (B.D.O), Ketugram-II.||
|Ketugram Police Station.||
|Katwa Fire Station.||
Persons eligible: The following classes of persons shall be entitled to normal relief assistance in their villages provided that they have no able-bodied relatives.
- Mentally Challenged.
- Physically Handicapped.
- Visually Handicapped.
- All persons who, from age or physical infirmity, are incapable of earning their living.
- All persons whose attendance on the sick or on infant children in their own houses is absolutely necessary.
- Women of respectable birth who are debarred by custom from appearing in public and are in danger of starvation.
- Such other persons who cannot work and cannot be provided with work.
Preparation of lists of person deserving normal relief assistance: The first duty of the Gram Panchayat, is to prepare lists of the persons according to the latest Government Orders in each village, who deserve relief assistance. The lists should include all persons who are entitled to relief assistance as in the above paragraph. Instructions for the preparation of the lists must be printed and circulated at a very early stage. The list shall be approved by the concerned Panchayat Samity. The Panchayat Samity may, however, authorize the Prodhan of the concerned Gram Panchayat to approve the same. The approved petitions should be prepared village-wise and the rejected petitions should also be maintained separately.
Present coverage under Normal G.R. = 0.25% of population.
SPECIAL GRANT (CASH / KIND)
Special G.R. is granted in kind (Wheat / Rice) as emergency relief for a temporary period to the marooned people out of any natural calamity as well as to the victims of fire accident / riot / arson. (one full unit of starvation G.R = 12 kgs. Rice or cash G.R. = Rs.120/~ per month per adult or half of the rate for a minor).
STARVATION GRANT (CASH / KIND)
G.R. is provided to prevent death out of starvation on need base cases. (one full unit of starvation G.R = 12 kgs. Rice or cash G.R. = Rs.120/~ per month per adult or half of the rate for a minor)
HOUSE BUILDING GRANT (ACCIDENTAL FIRE / NATURAL CALAMITY)
House Building Grant is paid to the indigent families who are living Below Poverty Line and whose total family income does not exceed Rs.2,500/- per month, to rebuild or repair their damaged / destroyed dwelling houses as a result of natural calamities and accidental fire. No house-building grant should be given to unauthorized occupiers of Government or private lands. The land on which the house existed before damage should be under authorized possession of the beneficiary. A certificate to this effect should be given by the District Magistrate in the proposal to the State Government for sanction of House Building Grant.
Object: The Scheme is designed to ensure economic rehabilitation of distressed families of this State which are capable of taking some productive occupation by arranging E.R grants for purchase of stock-in-trade like groceries or miscellaneous appliances like sewing machines, carpenter's tools, looms, Amber Charka, cycles for paddlery including trades like poultry, dairy, blacksmithy, etc. and other occupation / business which will ensure gainful rehabilitation of the families.
Scope: The scheme should be restricted to such families as are eligible for G.R. or have no income or whose monthly income does not exceed the ceiling as may be decided by the Govt, from time to time (presently Rs. 1000/- per month). Preference should be given to the families of G.R. recipients. G.R. should be stopped immediately after the E.R. Grant is disbursed to such family.
Procedure for sanction:
Application in the prescribed proforma be sent to the respective B.D.O. -cum- Executive Officer, Panchayat Samity through the concerned Gram Panchayat Pradhan or suo-moto.
Inquiry by the B.D.M.Os. or other officers with the assistance of concerned G.P.
History of each case, findings of inquiry and applications in original be sent to the concerned S.D.O. with recommendations of G.P. Pradhan & Savapati of Panchayat Samity.
The concerned S.D.O. will scrutinize the applications, reports and documents sent by the B.D.O. -cum- Executive Officer Panchayat Samity and submit all documents to the D.M. after counter-signing the same along with his recommendations.
The office of the District Magistrate will scrutinize the documents received from the S.D.O.s.
Ex-Gratia Grant is paid to the next of kin of the person who suffered loss of life due to natural calamity such as flood, cyclone, earthquake, tsunami, hailstorm, drought, pest attack, avalanche, cloud-burst, and landslide as well as for accidental fire. It may be pointed outhere that Ex-Gratia Grant is also paid to the bereaved family of the person who suffers loss of life due to snake bite and heat wave during any natural calamity.
Essential papers required for sanction of Ex-Gratia Grant by the concerned District Magistrates are:
- Application of the claimant(s).
- Attested copy of death certificate.
- Attested copy of Post-Mortem report.
- Police report.
- Proforma Report with recommendations of the Gram Panchayat Pradhan, B.D.O., Savapati of the Panchayat Samity & S.D.O. concerned.
Relief materials like tarpaulin, dhoti, saree, lungi, children garment, blanket, salwar kameez, pajama-punjabi, wrapper, etc are distributed to the victims of natural calamities and of accidental fire on need base cases.