Locust swarms originating in Pakistan have been making landfall in India since February this year. First, Punjab reported a small locust swarm of about three to four km long and about one km wide area and it was quickly eliminated using insecticides. In March, the Indian Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change warned that the locust swarm from Pakistan had entered Rajasthan, Haryana and Madhya Pradesh threatening major damage to standing cotton crops and vegetables urging states to adopt various means to respond to the swarms (The New Indian Express 2020a). Several districts in Rajasthan adjoining Pakistan (Bundi, Sikar, Pratapgarh and Chittorgarh) reported presence of locusts in farmlands. Last year, Rajasthan recorded agriculture losses of about INR 10,000 million due to the locust invasion after 670,000 hectares of cropland in 12 districts was damaged (Goswami 2020).
Research shows disasters exacerbate pre-existing vulnerabilities, which are often ignored in the disaster risk reduction policies. It is observed that people who are already vulnerable get more exposed to disaster risk, suffering a higher rate of mortality, morbidity and significant damages to their livelihoods and property. Although disasters do not make a distinction in gender—women and children tend to be the worst hit. The major global policy instruments thus need to align to facilitate and encourage better communication, participation and create awareness thereby ushering in the sustainable development goals under the 2030 development agenda. The paper attempts to highlight how streamlining disaster preparedness plays an important role in reducing vulnerabilities within and across communities.
India is undergoing rapid urban expansion. With increasing population, rapid development and infrastructure growth, urban sprawls are the new hotspots of disaster. The article focuses on the Tier II city of Nagpur, which is being developed as a Smart City. The urban areas of the city have been facing recent water/climate challenges and it is pertinent to explore the future of this city in the backdrop of increasing urban disasters.
It is imperative to reconnoiter the potential best practices, lessons learned and way forward from the Kerala 2018 floods, which include community response to disaster risk reduction and institutionalising capacity building for flood risk management. In order to support this review the significance of social capital in initial response as first responder and the need of institutionalising this social capital is critically analysed. The paper also suggests a way forward for flood risk reduction.
About 12 per cent of India's land is prone to floods. High intensity short duration rainfall; inadequate reservoir regulation; reduced channel carrying capacity; and, failure of flood management structures like levees and embankments exacerbate floods. Floods in northern, north eastern and coastal states of India cause considerable damage to lives, livelihoods, infrastructure, economy and the environment.
Coastal zones are facing multiple anthropogenic challenges, including the encroachment of water bodies, which hamper their flood resilience capacity. The recent floods in the coastal cities of Mumbai, Chennai and Kochi are examples. Even though India put in place the Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) Notification in 1991, its enforcement is a challenge. The recent Supreme Court order for the demolition of four high rise luxury apartment complexes in Kochi, which violated the CRZ Notifications, is an exception.
Disasters have been inflicting heavy damage in terms of deaths, injuries, destruction of our habitat and economic activity. While over the last two decades India has much to share about its successful response in terms of minimising life loss—infrastructure damage however, have remained very high. The economic impact of these extreme events are required to be evaluated, particularly in the light of growing urban and coastal establishments of the country. Citing case studies of vulnerable built up facilities, this article presents disaster resilient infrastructure issues in India.
In a disaster prone country like India, it is important to work with multi-pronged strategy to reduce the risk of disasters. Proper supply chain management for disasters, which is known as humanitarian supply chain (HSC) can play a vital role in disaster risk reduction. HSCs are different than most commercial supply chains. But many qualities of commercial supply chains can help HSCs to be more effective. Handling of uncertainty, optimisation of facility locations, planning of inventory, developing proper information network are some of the issues, which HSCs can learn from commercial supply chains. At the same time commercial supply chains can also learn abilities to handle high uncertainty from HSCs. A properly planned HSC where the private sector is also involved can help in improving the response to the disasters.
Planning and implementing disaster risk reduction requires integration pathways and appropriate tools. The transition from Hyogo Framework for Action to the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction has brought focus on specific goals, integrating climate change adaptation and environment-disaster linkages—mainstreaming it across all developmental sectors. This paper examines emerging issues of research and strategies for disaster risk framework strengthening and network development to achieve the designated goals by 2030, as also envisaged under the Prime Minister’s 10 Point Agenda on Disaster Risk Management.
Disaster phases are not linear. They may overlap and even occur simultaneously. The complexities in disaster phases are attributed to the social, cultural, economic, political forces influencing the web of flow— and disaster risk management needs to consider moving beyond conventional notions of phases.