DMPQ- . Discuss how India’s Panchayati Raj institutions can strengthen it’s disaster management system.

The 73rd amendment to the Indian Constitution paves the way for the popularly elected local governments to play a substantive role in matters of immediate concern. The amendment envisions the Panchayats as the institutions of local self-governance. In this context, the role of the Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs) in both disaster risk reduction and post-disaster management is very significant.

PRI’s and Disaster Management

  • The system of 2,60,512 Panchayati Raj Institutions present across the country, acts as the backbone of Indian democracy. z It is a local self-governance system which represents about 31 lakh members across India. €
  • PRIs’ Response to Covid-19: Amid the peak months of the pandemic, the PRIs played a remarkable role by providing essential leadership at the local level. z Performed Regulatory and Welfare Functions: PRIs set up containment zones, arranged transport, identified buildings for quarantining people and provisioned food for the incoming migrants.
  • Handling Disasters at Grass-root Level: The devolution of power and responsibilities to the panchayats will result in flexible and committed response at the grass- root level in the case of natural calamities.
  • Ensuring Better Relief Operations: Local bodies being nearer to the people are in a better position to undertake relief tasks as they are more familiar to the requirements of the local people.
  • Spreading Awareness and Gaining Cooperation: Local government institutions have grass root level contact with people and they can help effectively in spreading awareness and ensure people’s participation in fighting the crisis.

 

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