“Disaster Management Act, 2005” Invoked to facilitate supply of Medical Oxygen

What is the News?

The Ministry of Home Affairs(MHA) has invoked the Disaster Management Act, 2005 once again. This time to issue an order to ensure that the inter-state supply of medical oxygen is not obstructed for any reason whatsoever.

What does the order say?
  • Firstly, there will be no restriction on the movement of medical oxygen between the States.
  • Secondly, no restrictions shall be imposed on oxygen manufacturers and suppliers. This is especially to limit the oxygen supplies only to the hospitals of the state/UT in which the manufacturer/supplier is located.
  • Thirdly, no authority shall force the oxygen-carrying vehicles passing through the district or areas to make supplies to any particular district(s) or area.
  • Fourthly, the supply of oxygen for industrial purposes except those exempted by the Government is prohibited.
  • Fifthly, district magistrates and senior superintendent of police will be personally liable for the implementation of these directions.
About National Disaster Management Act, 2005:
  • The purpose of the National Disaster Management Act, 2005 is to manage disasters. The Act includes the preparation of mitigation strategies, capacity-building and more.
  • NDMA: The Act calls for the establishment of a National Disaster Management Authority(NDMA) with the Prime Minister of India as chairperson.
  • National Executive Committee(NEC): The Act provides the Central Government to constitute a National Executive Committee(NEC). This committee will assist the NDMA. The NEC is headed by the Union Home Secretary.
Relevant Sections of the Act:
  • Section 6: It gives NDMA the powers to prepare national plans for disaster management. It also ensures the implementation of the plan through the state disaster management authorities.
  • Section 10: It allows the NEC to give directions to governments regarding measures to be taken by them.
  • Section 33: It says that the District Authority may order any officer or any Department at the district level or any local authority to take such measures for the prevention or mitigation of disaster. Such officer or department shall be bound to carry out such order.
  • Penal Provisions: Moreover, sections 51 to 60 of the Act lay down penalties for specific offenses. Anyone found obstructing any officer or employee from performing their duty will be imprisoned. The term of the punishment may extend to one year or fined, or be both.
    • Further, if such an act of obstruction leads to loss of lives or imminent danger, then the person can be jailed for up to two years

Note: The DM Act, 2005 came into being in the wake of the Tsunami disaster in 2004.

Section 188 of Indian Penal Code(IPC): It states that any person who disobeys an order given by a public servant will be punished with imprisonment upto 1 month. If such disobedience causes danger to human life, the term may extend to six months.

Source: The Hindu

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