Karnataka Doc files PIL in Supreme Court on Disaster Management
Dr Edmond Fernandes, Chief Executive, Center for Health and Development ( CHD-India) has filed a public interest litigation (PIL) in the Supreme Court seeking the court intervention to direct the Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India and Offices of the Chief Ministers and Principal Secretaries – Revenue (Disaster Management ) to take appropriate steps to set up advisory body at the state disaster management authority for all states across the country as per the Disaster Management Act 2005.
In the PIL, Dr Edmond Fernandes Vs Union of India &ors, the petitioner has prayed before the court to order the formation of such a body involving all stakeholders like public health doctors, public health engineers, social scientists, architects, town planners and journalists so that disaster preparedness, response, relief and rehabilitation are effectively carried out with proper drills and capacity building exercises from time to time. The petitioner, Dr Edmond Fernandes has stated in the PIL that he has been deeply moved by the tragic stories of loss and grief during disasters as people work a lifetime to build something and nature takes it down in five minutes. The need to give attention to disaster management is long overdue.
The petition states that 2015 was the hottest year on record and India was among the top three countries in the world hit by disasters and having an economic loss worth $3.30 billion. On an average, India loses $ 10 billion per year due to disasters. The idea to achieve sustainable development goals will be an exercise in futile submission if we do not prepare for addressing the grave public health issue of Disaster Management and prevent a watershed moment for development. Disasters lead to disruption of health services, damages infrastructure, affects agriculture and creates livestock losses besides compromising on security for women, children and elderly.Rapidly proliferating climate change are compelling enough to review, strengthen and institutionalise risk reduction, multi-sectoral capacity building and emergency public health preparedness.