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India under 21-day Lockdown: What is Disaster Management Act that Modi Govt used to impose the Lockdown?

India under 21-day Lockdown: Prime Minister Narendra Modi delivered his 2nd deal with to the nation inside every week on COVID-19 epidemic. In his 30 minute lengthy speech, PM Modi highlighted a number of steps initiated by his authorities in addition to respective state governments to counter the unfold of Coronavirus in India. During the speech, he additionally imposed an entire lockdown throughout the nation for 21 days by invoking the Disaster Management Act, 2005 in addition to Epidemic Diseases Act of 1897. While, COVID-19 being an epidemic, it is fairly comprehensible as to why Government would  Epidemic Diseases Act under present circumstances; nonetheless, the use of Disaster Management Act, 2005 has come as a shock to many.

While we brace the the lockdown to assist authorities efforts in bringing down the menace of Coronavirus in the nation, it is additionally vital to perceive why did PM Modi select to impose the lockdown through the Disaster Management Act, 2005 and Why? What are the particular powers that it supplies the authorities and the way it can “effectively manage disasters in India”.

So let’s discover out!

What is a Disaster?

According to the Disaster Management Act, 2005, the time period Disaster is outlined as “a catastrophe, mishap, calamity or grave occurrence arising from natural or man-made causes, by accident or negligence”. The Act additionally says that to ensure that an incident to be termed as catastrophe, “substantial loss of life or human suffering or damage to property and environment to such an extent that it is beyond the coping capacity of the affected area”.

Why did Modi Govt invoke Disaster Management Act, 2005?

While there is no official rationalization has been given by the Central Government on this, consultants imagine that the Disaster Management Act, 2005 has been invoked by the Modi Government, because it permits them to sure monetary freedom to sort out the rising epidemic in the nation. By invoking the Disaster Management Act, 2005, Modi authorities has allowed or granted itself to entry “National Disaster Response Fund”. Using this fund, the authorities might be higher in a position to fund medical services and medical analysis to comprise the quick concern of rise in constructive COVID-19 circumstances.

Financial Requirement to curb COVID-19 unfold

Especially, when it comes to ramping up the every day testing capability throughout the nation, India lags behind a number of international locations who’ve been hit onerous by the Coronavirus epidemic. Using the National Disaster Response Fund, authorities might be in a position to ramp up the testing services to meet the rising necessities, which can mark the first step in the direction of curbing the unfold of epidemic. In addition to this, as soon as the variety of circumstances rises the authorities would additionally want to setup extra quarantine services, would want medical provides and necessities like masks, sanitizers, ventilators and different gear, which may all be funded by NDRF Fund.

Setting up of Agencies

Under the Disaster Management Act, 2005, the central authorities is additionally empowered to setup numerous businesses to assist handle the ongoing disaster. This contains establishing administrative authorities like the National Disaster Management Authority and the State Disaster Management Authority. These authorities can then work in tandem with the authorities to streamline operations at a national-level to counter the unfold of COVID-19.

Couldn’t this be executed under Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897?

The Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897 is one in all the shortest legal guidelines in the India, which was enacted in response to the Bombay plague, which occurred at the finish of the 19th century. The Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897 solely consists of 4 sections which discuss restrictive provisions that could be imposed by the Central Government in case of an Epidemic. Furthermore, the laws additionally outlines the punishment or penalty that could be imposed on the violators of the Act. However, it doesn’t present every other particular powers, particularly by way of monetary or administrative management, to the authorities; which is the prime want of the hour to sort out Coronavirus outbreak.

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