Disaster Management Act imposed in Pune to contain Coronavirus

Pune district administration
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Sumit Singh

Pune, March 10, 2020: After five persons tested positive with Coronavirus within 24 hours, the Pune district administration today imposed the Disaster Management Act to tackle the outbreak of Coronavirus.

District Collector Naval Kishor Ram, who is also the chairman of district disaster management authority, issued order in this regard. District Civil Surgeon Dr Ashok Nandapurkar has been nominated as the ‘Incident Commander’ while District Health Officer (DHO) Dr Bhagwan Pawar has been made the joint controller for better planning and execution of the rules and regulations.

According to officials, the law helps the administration in better utilization of the available resources and manpower not only in the various government departments but also private sector. The services of private doctors and hospitals can also be utilized easily now.

These two officers will be responsible for coordinating with various other departments and implement 104 toll free number (for information related to Coronavirus), providing health services at airport and other crowded places. They will also make awareness among public through various means. Another important task is to make sure medical stores are not overcharging for masks, injections; medicines etc and if anybody is indulging profiteering, then take suitable action.

The Disaster Management Act 2005 gives ample power to the district administration under sections  33 and 34 to deal with any disaster related situation.

  1. Requisition by the District Authority.-The District Authority may by order require any officer or any Department at the district level or any local authority to take such measures for the prevention or mitigation of disaster, or to effectively respond to it, as may be necessary, and such officer or department shall be bound to carry out such order.


34.Powers and functions of District Authority in the event of any threatening disaster situation or disaster.-For the purpose of assisting, protecting or providing relief to the community, in response to any threatening disaster situation or disaster, the District Authority may-

(a) Give directions for the release and use of resources available with any Department of the Government and the local authority in the district;

(b) Control and restrict vehicular traffic to, from and within, the vulnerable or affected area;

(c) Control and restrict the entry of any person into, his movement within and departure from, a vulnerable or affected area;

(d) Remove debris, conduct search and carry out rescue operations;

(e) Provide shelter, food, drinking water and essential provisions, healthcare and services;

(f) Establish emergency communication systems in the affected area;

(g) Make arrangements for the disposal of the unclaimed dead bodies;

(h) Recommend to any Department of the Government of the State or any authority or body under that Government at the district level to take such measures as are necessary in its opinion;

(i) Require experts and consultants in the relevant fields to advise and assist as it may deem necessary;

(j) Procure exclusive or preferential use of amenities from any authority or person;

(k) Construct temporary bridges or other necessary structures and demolish structures which may be hazardous to public or aggravate the effects of the disaster;

(l) Ensure that the non-governmental organizations carry out their activities in an equitable and non-discriminatory manner;

(m) Take such other steps as may be required or warranted to be taken in such a situation.