Capacity Building Programme


With paradigm shift from response and relief oriented focus to a balanced approach giving emphasis on mitigation, prevention and preparedness, the erstwhile Relief Department was re-structured into the Department of Disaster Management. With the launch of GOI-UNDP Disaster Risk Management programme in the State since 2004 emphasize has always been given in the State inculcating the Culture of Resilience through prevention and preparedness. Further the enactment of the DM Act in December 2005 provided great impetus to the institutionalization of disaster management at the National, State and District levels. DM Act provides the legal framework for disaster management and explicitly states the roles and responsibilities of the designated authorities and departments at the national, state and district level towards disaster preparedness, response and mitigation.

Hence, effective disaster management requires trained human resources to deal with complex situations where effective and speedy handling can reduce the impact of a disaster on human life and property. It is necessary to continuously undertake measures to build capacity amongst those handling response and creating awareness among people. Capacity Building, Assessment, Awareness Campaign, enabling environment through strengthening infrastructure and Training are the five major components by which mitigation activities can be focussed on disaster risk reduction.

Gap in the capacity building of the State

Disaster Management covers a wide range of functions and skills, which include planning, organizing day-to-day management activities, counter-disaster operations, crisis management activities, recovery functions and specific tasks relating to information and communication. With these views, there is dearth of structured and implemented education, training, development of IEC materials, upgradation of communication system & equipments, awareness generation and orientation programmes which are urgent need for development of competence and organization of expertise.

Existing Infrastructure for Capacity Building

  • About well trained 50 disasters management officers are available across the State and sitting at State, District, Block offices. After all, The State has a full – fledged Disaster Management Department upto block level. The State has Civil defence Department and Fire & Emergency Services Department who are capable for capacity building of community volunteers in terms of Search & Rescue and Fire Safety. In addition, About 25 resource persons are available along with strong Inter – Agency Groups – West Bengal comprising NGOs and INGOs in the State who are well versed for capacity building in terms of community based disaster risk reduction.
  • Administrative Training Institute has Disaster Management Cell with modest training facilities. In addition, State Institute of Panchayat & Rural Development (SIPRD) and Institute of Local Government & Urban Studies (ILGUS), are available for capacity building of Government officials. In addition, Bengal Engineering and Science University(BESU), Jadavpur University, Durgapur Regional Engineering College and Jalpaiguri Engineering College act as as State Resource Institutes(SRI) for imparting training on disaster risk management technology to serving public and private engineers. PWD provides the training of masons in the districts in the construction of earthquake and cyclone- resistant houses. - In West Bengal, number of manuals has been developed under GOI – UNDP DRMP and DRRP like training manuals for development of Gram Sansad DM Plan, GP level training, block and district training manuals, etc.

Stakeholders for Capacity Building

Government officials concerned with disaster management and representatives of Panchayat, Urban Local Bodies and community at large are major stakeholders for the Capacity Building. In addition, capacity buildings of media personnel, lager number of civil society organizations, Self Help Groups, Private agencies including Engineer and Doctors Association, corporate officials are needed. Let us sketch West Bengal’s Administrative and PRI & ULBs structure to realize link of the Stakeholders in general.

Capacity Building Events for the last three years

1) Capacity Building Events during 2010 – 11

A. Capacity Building at State and District Level

In accordance with a letter of Agreement (LOA) and Annual work Plan 2010 -11 executed by the Department of disaster Management. Government of West Bengal and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the activities of Disaster Risk Reduction Programme (DRRP) were carried out in the following matrix.

Sr. Target Achievement
01 One day workshop for State level sensitization for the stakeholders on Disaster Risk Reduction Programme was held at at The Stadel Hotel, Salt Lake, Kolkata 48 very high officials from Government & civil society organizations participated the workshop
02 Three days State Level Training of Trainers on Disaster Risk Reduction Programme in West Bengal at State Institute of Panchayat& Rural Development, Kalyani, Nadia 42 Disaster Management Officers from three DRR districts & Officials for Municipality and Municipal corporation attended
03 Training of Officials on Emergency Response at Seva Kendra, Kolkata 35 from State Emergency Operation Centre staffs and the distriicst & 10 officials each from Municipality and Municipal corporation
04 Workshop on Mainstreaming Disaster Management into School Education at Ramkrishna Mission Narendrapur,Kolkata 19 (SPD – SSM, Dy. Officials from PHE, Social Welfare, Disaster Management & Fire Emergency Department, UNICEF etc.)
05 The workshop on Hazard, Risk and Vulnerability Assessment at Matigara, Darjeeling 34 Disaster Management officers & NGO representatives attended the workshop
06 One day Advocacy workshop on Disaster Risk Reduction at District Level at Jalpaiguri, North 24 Parganas & Bardhaman 97 Govt. officials including some district officers, 8 Panchayat Samity Sabhapatis.
07 Two Days Training and Capacity Building of NGOs, CBOs, federated SHGs Leaders and PRI Members on Community Based Disaster Risk Management (CBDRM) held at Jalpaiguri, North 24 Pargans and Bardhaman 178 participants from NGO, SHG and Panchayet Samiti representatives participated
08 One day Training of District level Government Functionaries on disaster Management vis a vis DRR and preparation and updation of Disaster Management Plans. 106 of District level high officials from various line departments of Jalpiaguri, North 24 Pargans and Bardhaman district
09 One Day “Training Programme for member of Panchayati Raj Institution and SHG on Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR)” 958 SHG leaders from Jalpiaguri, North 24 Pargans and Bardhaman district participated

B. Capacity Building of Engineers in Earthquake Risk Management

Programme titled “National Programme for Capacity Building of Engineers and Architects in Earthquake Risk Management” by the joint venture of the State Government and the Central Government is in operation. The main target of this programme is to arrange training for Engineers and Architects in earthquake-resistance technology through the State Resource Institutes like Bengal Engineering and Science University, Jadavpur University, Jalpaiguri Government Engineering College etc. 89 graduate Engineers have been trained under National Programme for Capacity Building of Engineers in Earthquake Risk Management. 4.98 lakh has so far been spent for implementation of this programme out of sanctioned an amount Rs. 16.16 lakh.

C. Capacity Building through awareness campaign

Out of of the budgeted provision of Rs. 12.00 lakh, Rs. 11.90 lakh was spent for awareness campign among the mass on disaster management

2) Capacity Building Events during 2011 – 12

Disaster Risk Reduction Programme is being implemented by Department of Disaster Management under GOI – UNDP DRR programme. In the second year of the project the following activities at State and district level were conducted.

Sr. Target Achievement
01 State level Workshop on mainstreaming DRR into development Planning 52 high officials from Government & civil society organizations participated the workshop
02 Inter – Agency Coordination for effective disaster preparedness and response 189 participated from Government & civil society organizations participated the workshop
03 Three Training Programme on Post Disaster Needs Assessment at Seva Kendra Bardhaman, Siliguri, at Nitika Don Bosco, Kolkata 93 District officials and NGO representatives participated
04 Training of Panchayats and SHGs on DRR North 24 Pgs: 15, Bardhaman: 12 , Jalpaiguri: 09; Total: 36 percipients
05 Formulation of Model District, Block and Village DM Plans District: 03 Achieved
Block : 09 Achieved
GP : 09 Achieved
GS : 27 Achieved
06 Training of Emergency Response Management 15 trainings took place in 15 districts
07 Training on implementation of Disaster Management Act and Disaster Management Policy 14 trainings took place in 14 districts
08 14 trainings took place in 14 districts 12 trainings took place in 12 districts

Building Stronger Disaster Response system by amalgamating three Departments under one umbrella: The new Government emphasized in the first Cabinet meeting to prioritize the system of disaster management and for this purpose brought three Departments of Disaster Management, Fire and Emergency Services and Civil Defence under one Minister so that it becomes easy for him to effectively coordinate in crisis and ensure holistic diaster management.

A direct outcome of this merger was running of the State Control Room in the Writers’ Builings 24X7 on all days of the year with staff from Departments of Civil Defence and Disaster Management.

SMS based Early Warning System: Developed SMS based Early Warning System thorugh the IT Department for alerting the mobile users in the districts of the State of the advent of natural calamities like tropical cyclone, tsunami, earthquake, etc.

Incorporation of GPS system in the institutional structure: The Disaster Management Department undertook capacity building programme through introduction of Global Positioning System (GPS) in the institutional structure for better response during any emergency. Hence, handheld GPS devices for each block are provided to ten disaster prone districts of West Bengal in tune of Rs. 79,50,000/-

Capacity Building of Engineers in Earthquake Risk Management: 206 graduate Engineers have been trained under National Programme for Capacity Building of Engineers in Earthquake Risk Management.

Procurement of Microphone sets to be fitted on the vehicles of all District Magistrates, Additional District Magistrates, Sub-Divisional Officers, and Block Development Officers for dissemination of messages on disaster and alertness thereof in tune of Rs. 24,85,000/-

Disaster Risk Management Programme: With a view to sustainable disaster risk reduction in the districts to build capacities at all levels to institutionalize the disaster risk management system, the Department of Disaster Management is implementing Disaster Risk Reduction Programme (DRMP-II) in Darjelling, Birbhum, Paschim & Purba Medinipur, Hooghly, Howrah from the State Fund. Most of the district & block level activities has already been conducted under DRMP – II in the reporting period.

Training on Disaster Risk Reduction for Representatives & officials of Panchayati Raj Institutions at State Institute of Panchayat & Rural Development in tune of Rs. 4,15,000/-

Development of Audio spot and zingles for the telecast of advertisement of disaster management messages for broadcasting / electronic media amounting of Rs. 1,12,506/-

Training on Disaster Risk Reduction for Representatives & officials of Urban Local Bodies at Institute of Local Government and Urban Studies (ILGUS) in tune of Rs. 1,60,000/-

A Bengali film “Chitto Jetha Bhoy Shunyo” (where the mind is without fear) of 40 minutes which tells shocking story of individual and family and also the coping capacity of all stakeholders particularly family, community and Panchayats during & after cyclone Aila. The film was displayed in 4324 villages of South 24 Parganas District.

Twenty Five thousands in English & Bengali calendars comprising dos and don'ts on Flood, Cyclone, Earthquake and Landslide have been printed and distributed to districts, block and Panchayat officials. Similarly, twenty five thousands leaflets in Bengali & English leaflets comprising history of Department of Disaster Management, Achievement in the last year were developed and circulated among the community at a large.

Under the recommendation of 13th Finance Commission for Capacity Building of all stakeholders, Rs.25.20 lakh has been allotted to all districts for training on Implementation of DM Act & DM Policy and Emergency Response Management, school safety

Rs. 5.75 lakh has been allotted to state Institute of Panchayat & Rural Development and Institute of Local Government & urban studies (ILGUS). 109 Municipality Representatives, Engineers & Officials from 32 municipalities have been trained at ILGUS. 220 Panchayat Representatives & Officials from line Departments from 9 districts. have been trained at SI & PRD

3) Capacity Building Events during 2012 – 13

  1. Hazard, Risk and Vulnerability Analysis (HRVA) for the district of Jalpaiguri was completed in November 2012 in partnership with Jadavpur University under GOI UNDP Disaster Risk Reduction Programme.
  2. State Disaster Management Policy has been developed
  3. Publication of History of Natural Disasters of West Bengal since independence
  4. Model District Disaster Management Plans have been developed their disater management plan during implementation of GOI – UNDP DRM programme
  5. City Disaster Management Plans have been developed in Municipalities like Cooch Behar & Diamond Harbour and Kolkata Municipal Corporation
  6. Campaign through DRR Congress: : Disaster Risk Reduction Congress was organized in Kolkata & Jalpaiguri in the month of April in 2012
  7. Wall Writing and banners containing ‘dos’ and ‘don’ts’ messages on various natural hazards @150 each has been completed in Howrah, Hooghly, Nadia and Bardhaman Districts in West Bengal.
  8. Rupees 8.74 lakh was spent in the State Budget for undertaking Tsunami related Awareness Campaign has been undertaken in the Coastal districts of Purba Medinipur and South 24 Parganas.
  9. Under the recommendation of 13th Finance Commission, the following Capacity building activities are undertaken:
    • Rs. 4.50 lakh has been allotted to I.G. Police (Head Quarters), West Bengal for Training for Under Water Diving Course of 30 Police Personnel.
    • Rs. 62.10 lakh has been sanctioned to six districts of Murshidabad, North 24 Pargans, Purba Medinipur, South 24 Parganas, Nadia nad Hooghly for traning of Youth Volunteers in aquatic disaster. 652 Volunteers are trained in aquatic disaster.
    • Rs. 47.90 lakh was allotted in favour of Administrative Training Institute for organizing training & infrastructure for capacity building of officers at ATI.
    • Rs. 10.70 lakh was sanctioned to ILGUS for organizing training & infrastructure for capacity building of officers.
    • Rs. 28.67 lakh has been spent for broadcast and telecast of advertisement on disaster management in various electronics media.
    • Rs.4,53,376/- was spent for training of doctors, para medicals for the South 24 Pargana districts.

The Government is proposing to take up following new activities in next financial year to further strengthen the Capacity of Disaster Management Set Up of the State.

  1. Training and equipping 4 companies State Armed Police as State Disaster Management Group.
  2. A new SMS based State Disaster Alert System was already implemented. All weather alerts including warnings is sent to concerned officials upto Block level which would be sent to the community as in the next year.
  3. NDRF Battalion would be utilized to train local people in rescue and relief operations during flood season.
  4. A GIS based map of Kolkata Metropolitan Area would be prepared for the use of Fire Services Department. This would have the details of all water resources, all the fire stations, major hospitals/ evacuation centers and major shopping malls. Jadavpur University is being assigned this task.
  5. Newly elected Panchayat representatives would be trained on disaster risk reduction from the next year.