of Meeting on Disaster Management held on 12th Jan 2006
at 3:00 pm at the Conference Hall, MCGM Annexe Building
Shrikant Singh, Addl M.C.
Subrat Ratho, Addl M.C.
Vilas Vaidya, MCGM
Seema Redkar, OSD, MCGM
Masurkar, Safety Officer, MCGM
Rita Savla, UNDP
Indrani Malkani, JAAG ‘D’ Ward
Shibani Sachdeva, United Way of Mumbai
Meena L., HOPE Foundation
Joseph D., HOPE Foundation
Janet Gojan, HOPE Foundation
Treesa Joseph, Karunya Trust
Sunilsinh Mantri, Anirudh Academy of Disaster Mgmt.
Ashutosh Tembe, Anirudh Academy of Disaster Mgmt.
R. Kedari, Anirudh Academy of Disaster Mgmt.
Wendell D’cunha – Times Foundation
Dynaneshwar Tarwade, Apnalaya
Bhavana Kapadia, SNEHA
Sandesh Ambeker, Frischmann Prabhu
Rahul Gawane, CORO
Santosh Surve, Yuvak Pratishthan
Sayani Par, Action Aid, Mumbai
Anant Kedari, Vikas Sahayog Pratishthan
Xavier, ALM Andheri
Vinay Somani, Karmayog / NGO Council
Atul Inamdar, Karmayog
Tanya Mahajan, Karmayog
part of meeting prior to Mr.Singh and Mr.Ratho attending)
Does anyone have a model plan for disaster management for
In the 2003 EMI workshop (Earthquake Mega-cities International)
that I had attended, the concept of learning from other sister cities
was introduced. In Asia, Mumbai has Dhaka, Colombo and Manila as
The experiences of North Mumbai will be different from those
of South Mumbai. Does the disaster management plan exist only on
paper? Does it make promises for resources that could be needed
in a disaster? For. Eg.: In case of a terrorist attack, where 2
high rise buildings may collapse, and render 2000 people homeless:
is there a plan for these people? Is the State Govt. going to take
care of them? Does each building itself keep resources aside in
a safe place for such a scenario?
It would be better if we do not ask such questions, but instead
state what our suggestions are; else Mr.Singh will just answer yes/no
and this discussion will not have much value.
In a disaster, Traffic is a problem.
Is the BMC going to tell us the plan, or is this just a brain-storming
A clause in the BMC-NGO Council MoU specifically mentions
the formulation of a disaster management plan for the city. We need
to know what is available, and beyond that be pro-active, and say
that this is what we want, and how we want to be involved.
In the old days, it was a accepted norm that the Home Guards
of a particular area would take charge. Are they still there?
Home Guards are part of the Disaster Team.
The Civil Defence also has stations – 161 stations across
and Mr.Ratho arrive)
BMC has had associations with NGOs in the past. Disaster
Management has certain dimensions (which we have seen since July
26th) where consultative processes are possible. Based
on the Disaster Management Plan that we have been working on for
the last few months, the following active roles for NGOs / Civil
1) Information dissemination
Response mechanism. In any disaster, citizens are the first to respond,
then Govt. responds. Therefore, we can plan for volunteers all over
Mumbai, who will have a direct communication line to enable exchange
of data between reliable people. This immediate response of information
3) Awareness of disaster aspects
order to define these roles within the DM Plan, we need to first
study the strengths/weaknesses of the NGOs and the volunteer base,
and then work out how to organise relief, etc.
In the workshop, great focus was put on NGO participation
and their roles were defined and there were working papers on each
of these aspects. The main roles of NGOs would be the 3 Cs: cooperation,
coordination, and collaboration. In D-Ward, we felt it necessary
to do a pilot, where we looked at a) mitigation aspects and b) identifying
our strengths, ie what we are good at, and being honest about it.
We undertook the documentation of our Ward, in order to update the
information in the DM Plan with the BMC. The next step was to get
sufficient groups to be aware of what to do if required, for eg.:
hospitals should know what to do. We have in D Ward a doctors group
called PEARLS, headed by Dr. Nilotama, who have started to work
with the BMC in order to know what to do. NGOs can work on training,
awareness and coordination. My suggestion is in each ward to find
such a group who can work well in such a manner.
We have an inventory of resources available in the city:
hospitals, health, machinery, etc.
The D-Ward document that we received from the BMC was of
1999. This needs to be updated, and that is what we are doing, with
hospitals for a start. All wards have such a document.
I am not able to understand. Is there a Plan? If yes, thereafter,
it depends on what resources are there to make the plan effective,
Thereafter citizens / NGOs can respond with resources to improve
Today is an introductory meeting; there are various people
who have gathered here thanks to the NGO Council; we may not get
down to discussing the plan today – we could do that at a later
Sayani, Action Aid:
Community Preparedness is what we are
going to work on, on both urban and rural levels.
(SNEHA): UNDP has done a lot of work in disaster management in Gujarat;
we could learn from those experiences.
(UNDP): We are at the moment still studying the existing DM Plan,
and will be able to respond to that soon.
There has not been much documentation of the learnings from
the floods of NGOs and their responses. BMC should undertake or
pay for such documentation.
For the DM Plan at a macro level, NGOs should be organised at the
Ward level. We had worked in Powai during the floods and have sent
reports of the work done to all Govt. offices. We are now in the
second stage of rehabilitation in rural areas affected by the floods.
Learnings are important; we cannot duplicate paper plans;
we must learn from our own experiences in order to have an effective
United Way is supported by 35-40 Corporates. After the floods,
we received some funds and spent a part of that on relief, and then
decided to spend the rest to be prepared for the next disaster.
Hence we are in the process of setting up the Mumbai resource Centre,
where with help from Vinay, we have collected information on each
Ward. We want to partner with 1 or 2 NGOs in each ward, but have
not received any response so far, so have gone ahead with another
NGO. With 18 persons working in the Wards, we have updated the information,
and in 15 days we expect this to be available, A Help-line will
also be launched, and we are setting up an office with full-time
staff. 4 Coordinators will be assigned 7 Wards each, and will get
the Ward DM Plans updated in collaboration with Local Citizen Groups
and the BMC. Phase 1 of this will be completed in 60 days.
We are also covering the 400 Dattak Vasti Yojanas, as we
want to work at the grassroots level; 75% of the DVs will be profiled
in the next 60 days.
This is clearly a serious event underway.
It is a step in the right direction. Each ward needs to be
mapped and split up further as well. We need to identify ward citizen
groups and create associations with them. We need to create an NGO
base – each ward may have 3-4 strong NGOs
- we need an umbrella NGO for the coordination of volunteers.
We can’t succeed if we don’t partner with other NGOs. What
we are doing is putting financial help on the table, creating a
hub and bringing a corporate way of working into this.
I am from the Anirudh Academy of Disaster management; we have 30,000+
volunteers to whom we have given a 7-day training. We have 60 rescue
teams, 100+ centres in Mumbai. We have an Office in Mumbai equipped
to work for 24 hours in an emergency. We have lifeboats, dinghies,
and we provide free of charge training if the numbers are sufficient
for a training programme.
request the BMC to be the nodal agency in regard to the DM Plan
and not NGOs, even for such areas such as updating information.
If BMC will give us the DM Plan, we will study it and respond.
The areas of associations with NGOs needs to be defined first.
We need not discuss the entire plan with NGOs; for instance some
specialised areas such as the fire brigades’ response etc are beyond
the purview of NGOs and citizens.
Since in an emergency, all existing resources fall short,
we need volunteers and hence we are training them.
Can you tell me Ward wise, a list of volunteers who are available
to the BMC, so that we may plan for them; else working independently
of the BMC could even be dangerous.
All administration should be from the BMC; we are all here
by association; all information and documentation should also come
from the BMC to ensure that it is authentic.
Is the BMC willing and ready for the responsibility of the
DM Plan or is being forced on you? The BMC seems to have too much
on its plate; these 2 organisations (United Way and Anirudh) seem
to have done more work than the BMC. We need to have a single unifying
The single authority is the BMC; take it or leave it. You
have stated the obvious. What Shrikant has said that in a disaster,
the first response is of the citizen, even before the BMC, or NGO
or any other entity. Hence the citizen also needs training, and
awareness, of what to do in an earthquake, what resources are there
in the Ward, which is the nearest hospital. We should keep focussed
on: 1) information the BMC should know and 2) information the citizen
The work that United Way is doing is a welcome development;
they are not representing a particular area; they have expertise
of people, resources to take it forward. BMC can’t shirk its responsibilities.
If there is an assessed / identified NGO in an area, we can build
a partnership with that entity.
Since it is a simplistic meeting, lets look at simple issues,
like Traffic. Why is the Traffic Police not at this meeting?
We are discussing more than disaster prevention; we are discussing
mitigation and preparedness as well. We can list all the questions
that come up, 100 or 1000, and then answer them.
The media can be used to spread the right information, instead of
rumours. The media can also play the role of highlighting best practices.
We work in M-East. We had a I day training programme conducted by
the Times Foundation in Disaster Management. At present, we are
discussing what next after the flood? The answer is community preparedness.
M-East has a high fire risk, with refineries and BARC. We have been
working here for 25 years, and have good relations with the community.
It is also necessary to sensitise BMC staff as well as CBOs. We
want to work at ward level, with teachers in BMC schools and are
looking for collaboration.
M-East we have learnt that there is a Mahila Mandal Federation of
330 Mahila Mandals, CBOs and youth organisations. We should also
take a list of all organisations in a ward from the Charity Commissioner,
and then work with them, The Mahila Mandals have a lot of grassroots
reach and information, and are well networked with the community
health workers, etc.
Social resource mapping is essential; of finances, manpower,
etc. This is happening in some wards (L, M, H); it needs to start
in all wards. Small mandals and groups also need to be brought in.
UNICEF is working on building
up such a data base and tying this in with BMC’s DM Plan.
While they are working on this data base, we can identify
the training needs of these groups and conduct training programmes
in DM for them.
Micro-planning will need to be done to determine who has
There are vertical themes and horizontal themes, like a grid,
of organisations who want to bring their resources to the table,
and how they should work with the BMC. We can list out the themes
and groups, and then detail these. Each Group will have someone
from the BMC
yes, we can start in 3-4 wards.
I have been involved with the DM Plan over a period of 1.5 years,
and there are some factual inaccuracies in the public understanding
of this plan. Ward wise, we need to identify associations that can
be done with NGOs, then have a team, and then work on a plan of
action. The BMC is ready to get this plan on to a state-of-the-art
communication website, that will be interactive with feedback and
volunteer details, etc.
Is there an existing handbook for how we can interact / associate
with the BMC?
We can put that out.
We need a manual.
Who will do that?
We all have roles to play; the DM plan for each plan is specified;
we need to upgrade that, and BMC is the final authority.
We are still reacting to 26/7; we have to assist the BMC
in change of attitude.
We should not re-invent the wheel; and start working ward
We need to provide information and training on what a citizen
We could teach DM in schools like Environmental Studies.
the Govt. Of Maharashtra, in collaboration with the World
Bank and Yashada have prepared a DM Plan in 2000 that in Phase 1
has identified vulnerable areas. Phase 2 will take up inventories
and ward level micro-plans.
We need to:
1) Study the existing plan and respond
2) form focus groups to detail identified areas
We have developed a module for DM awareness in schools –
this will shortly be handed over to Mr.Vaidya.