The Maharashtra government has informed the Bombay High Court that it has set up separate disaster management authorities for districts of Mumbai and Mumbai Suburban.
The move came after the government was reprimanded by the HC for acting contrary to the provisions of the Disaster Management Act (DMA).
The high court had last month warned of initiating contempt proceedings against the additional chief secretary if the government failed to set up separate disaster authorities for Mumbai and Mumbai Suburban.
The court had directed the government to do so in January. However, the government had set up a common disaster management authority for both the districts.
The bench hearing the matter had last month noted the government had committed wilful breach of the court orders.
The government earlier this month filed an affidavit in the HC, stating separate authorities have been constituted for Mumbai and Mumbai suburban.
The affidavit added that as per the court orders and as mandated under the Act, the government has framed disaster management rules which are being vetted by the law and judiciary department.
The government has also updated its State Disaster Management Plan, it said.
“The plan has been updated as per the guidelines of the Natural Disaster Management Authority. A separate drought plan has also been prepared,” the affidavit said.
The affidavit was submitted in response to a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by Sanjay Lakhe Patil, president of NGO Marathwada Anushesh Nirmulan Aani Vikas Manch, on the issue of drought faced by farmers in parts of Maharashtra every year due to deficient rainfall.
The PIL sought direction to the government to implement the Disaster Management Act, 2005 and disclose measures taken for drought mitigation.
The DMA, a central legislation, provides for effective management for disasters, both natural and man-made, and lays down guidelines to provide relief to persons affected by calamities.