‘Need to give priority to risk insurance in disaster management’

New Delhi, May 16 (IANS) There is need to give priority to risk financing and risk insurance as part of disaster mitigation strategy, National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) vice chairman M. Shashidhar Reddy said Thursday, calling for a standard insurance policy covering major hazards.

Reddy told IANS that meeting of National Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction (NPDRR) has made recommendations to the government on harnessing technology, making the cities safe and risk-financing mechanisms.

“Risk financing and insurance instruments should be given priority,” Reddy said.

The two-day NPDRR meeting ended Tuesday.

He said that the NPDRR had recommended that building bye-laws should be revisited to make cities more safe.

Reddy said participants at the meeting said many fast-growing towns were not notified towns and regulation controls were not strictly implemented.

He said the meeting felt that a new paradigm was required in case of catastrophic disasters as conventional approach to disaster management could not be scaled up beyond a point.

Reddy also emphasised on documentation including drainage manuals.

He said NPDRR had also recommended a standard insurance policy covering major hazards.

“Risk transfer tools are required for long-term recovery and mitigation,” he said, adding private sector engagement in disaster risk reduction should be beyond the stipulations of corporate social responsibility.

Reddy said market research was needed for developing risk-based financing tools.

“Risk transfer tools are required for long term recovery and mitigation,” he said.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had, in his address to the platform, had called for mechanisms to provide risk insurance and contingent credit facilities to people affected by natural disasters.

He had said that the current systems, particularly at the national level, lacked institutional incentives and do not promote mechanisms such as risk insurance.

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