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Roles & Responsibilities

Business Rule of Department of Disaster Management


  1. Crisis Management in case of Natural Calamities i.e. arrange for rescue, relief and rehabilitation of people affected by Natural Calamities.
  2. Arrange for Risk Management by coordinating among all concerned departments of the State Government & promoting the culture of Preparedness, Mitigation and Prevention for reducing disaster risks in the State.
  3. Administration of Disaster Management Act, 2005 and its provisions.
  4. State Disaster Management Authority & District Disaster Management Authority constituted under the Disaster Management Act, 2005.
  5. Preparation of State Disaster Management Plan.
  6. Preparation/ Updation of Gram Sansad Disaster Management Plan.
  7. Preparation/Updation of Gram Panchayat, Block & District Disaster Management Plan.
  8. Promoting the Culture of preparedness, Mitigation & Prevention of effecting Sustainable Development.
  9. Coordinating with Nodal Departments of the State Government for preparation of Crisis Management Plan in respect of those disasters, which are monitored by the National Crisis Management Group.


  1. Inquiries and statistics for the purposes of any of the matters specified in List-II or List-III with which the Department is concerned (Entry 45 of List III).
  2. Contracts and agency in respect of any of the matters with which the Department is concerned. (Entry 7 of List III)
  3. State Public Services with which the Department is concerned. (Entry 41 of List II)


  1. Union Public Services in respect of the matters with which the Department are concerned. (Entry 70 of List I)
  2. Union Agencies and Institutes for
    • a) Professional, Vocational, Technical training
    • b) Promotion of special studies of research
    so far as subjects dealt with the services administered by the Department are concerned. (Entry 65 of List I)
  3. Entering into treaties and agreements with foreign countries & implementing of treaties and agreements are convention with foreign countries so far as the Department is concerned. (Entry 14 of List I)
  4. Participation in international conferences associations and other bodies and implementation of decisions made there at as the Department is concerned. (Entry 13 of List I)

Roles & Responsibility

Suitable organization has been evolved in this State at all appropriate level to draw up coordinated plans for setting up Disaster Management operations. The lowest unit of Disaster Management organization is the Gram Panchayats. The Gram Panchayats in an area is formed into Block, each under a Block Development Officer (BDO). A Disaster Management Officer appointed by the Director of Disaster Management, W.B is placed under the B.D.O. In the Sub Division, a Sub Divisional Disaster Management Officer (SDDMO) is placed under the Sub Divisional Officer (SDO) and a District Disaster Management Officer (DDMO) is placed under the District Magistrate. In the Directorate of Disaster Management W.B, Disaster Management Officers and Senior Disaster Management Officers are placed under Director of Disaster Management. The Disaster Management organization of the State is running under the Department of Disaster Management, Government of W.B. The Secretary, Disaster Management Department, is the State Relief Commissioner. S/he is assisted by Additional and Joint Secretary and officers and staff already mentioned in the organogram. The Directorate of Disaster Management, headed by a Director, assists the Secretary of Disaster Management for execution of all Disaster Management Operations at the State level.

Role of State Relief Commissioner:

The State Relief Commissioner through the office of the Department of Disaster Management plays a direct & active role in the Disaster Management programme of the State. For a disaster that impacts more than one district in the State, the State Relief Commissioner leads the Disaster Management measures using appropriate action plan.

The State Relief Commissioner either directly or through District Magistrates, co-ordinates and monitors the disaster management measures using all the resources available with the State Government.

In this phase the State Relief Commissioner would:

  1. Recommend to the State government when disaster needs to be declared
  2. Supervise and undertake Preparedness, Prevention and Mitigation measures, if necessary, where disaster is declared
  3. Monitor such works in respective districts.

Relief Commissioner to satisfy himself about the preparation

The State Relief Commissioner should satisfy himself that adequate preparations are being uniformly made in all districts in which disasters are anticipated.

Role of District Magistrate

The District Magistrate plays a co-ordinating role at the district level to ensure that the various Government functionaries in the district effectively carry out the Disaster Management activities in this phase working in close co-operation with Government Departments and local bodies. The role of the District Magistrate in this phase includes:

  1. Ensuring that preparedness, mitigation & prevention-activities are carried out in accordance with the appropriate guidelines,
  2. Ensuring that relevant officials in the district possess the knowledge to deal with disaster management issues,
  3. Developing an appropriate Disaster Management strategy for the district, taking into account the unique circumstances of the district and prevailing gaps in institutional capacity and resources of the district
  4. Facilitating community training, awareness programmes and the installation of emergency facilities with the support of local administration, NGOs and the private sector,
  5. Establishing adequate inter-department co-ordination issues related to disaster management,
  6. Reviewing emergency plans & guidelines,
  7. Involving the community in the planning & development process,
  8. Ensuring that local authorities in the district are involved in developing their own mitigation strategies,
  9. Ensuring appropriate linkage between Disaster Management activities and planning activities,
  10. Revising/ Re-assessing contingency plans related to disaster management,
  11. Ensuring that proper communication systems are in place,
  12. Ensuring that equipments connected with Search & Rescue, especially fire fighting equipments are well maintained & ready to use
  13. Disaster Management plans maximizes the involvement of members of the community and NGOs.

Role of Zilla Parishad:

Under present conditions, Government has accepted full responsibility for fighting different types of disasters and at the district level, responsibility for administration of Relief solely rests with the District Magistrate. Zilla Parishad here plays a pivotal role in every kind of crisis management operation. The services of different district level functionaries of different line departments can be utilised in the management of disasters.

District Disaster Management Officer

As the representative of the Disaster Management Department, District Disaster Management Officer will assist the District Magistrate in every kind of Disaster Management operations, in the implementation of the policies & principles of the Department and the rules of the disaster management code within their jurisdiction.

Sub Divisional Officer:

The Sub Divisional Officer will supervise Disaster Management operations within his jurisdiction. The Sub Divisional Officer will be in charge of disaster management in the sub division concerned. He will see that relief is being efficiently and economically administered, orders are properly carried out, provisions for medical relief, hospitals & dispensaries are adequate, special precautions are taken to guard the drinking water supply from contamination & pollution, to guard against breaking out epidemics in the disaster affected areas, that the provisions of the disaster management codes and orders of the State government are being fulfilled and that the provisions for the future is being duly made and reports properly submitted.

Sub Divisional Disaster Management Officer

As the representative of the Disaster Management Department, Sub Divisional Disaster Management Officer will assist Sub Divisional Officer in every kind of Disaster Management operations. He will function as the Secretary in the municipality level disaster management committees. He will assist S.D.O in the implementation of the policies & principles of the Disaster Management Department & the rules of the Disaster Management code within the respective jurisdiction.

Block Development Officer

As the head of the Block administration, Block Development Officer plays a very significant role in the implementation of Disaster Management operations like Preparedness, Prevention and Mitigation. As the main functionary of the Block administration, he will act in the following sectors:

  1. Monitoring of functioning of all kinds of Disaster Management operations in his area and sending report to the Sub Divisional Officer and other higher authorities,
  2. To monitor the functioning of all committees related to Disaster Management at the Panchayat Samity and Gram Panchayat level,
  3. To visit every part of his area and to see that the social assistance measures are promptly, properly & effectively given to disaster victims whenever required and make periodical routine examination/assessment of the socio-economic status of his area,
  4. To make assessment of fund required for infrastructural reconstruction after any disaster,
  5. Will maintain all the accounts of the Disaster Management operations that have to be started during any natural calamity,
  6. S/he will prepare Block Disaster Management Plan every year and also revise it from year to year
  7. S/he will undertake preparedness, mitigation and rehabilitation measurers every year.
  8. S/he will keep the Block level India Disaster Resource Network updated every year.
  9. After every calamity, s/he will prepare and send preliminary report in CAII form to the Sub Divisional Officer at once.

Block Disaster Management Officer:

As the representative of the Department of Disaster Management at the Block level, Block Disaster Management Officers play an important role in the evaluation, assessment and management of block level disaster management operations. The services of Block Disaster Management Officers are placed at the disposal of respective Panchayat Samities. They will discharge their responsibility with regard to the Panchayat Samity in addition to their normal duties for execution or implementation of schemes already assigned to the Gram Panchayats and Panchayat Samities by the Department of Disaster Management.

Block Disaster Management Officers are one of the members of the Nari-Sishu Unnayan-Janakalyan-O-Tran Sthayee Samity. As per clause (b) of Section 125 (3) of West Bengal Panchayat Act, 1973, the official members of the said Sthayee Samity shall select in such manner as may be determined by the Karmadhyaksha, one of such members to act as Secretary to the Sthayee Samity. The main duties of the Block Disaster Management Officer in the Block level Disaster Management operation are mentioned below:

  1. To assist the Block Development Officer in every kind of decision-making in connection with Disaster management operations,
  2. Helping in sending periodical reports and returns in the implementation of various programmes related to disaster management to the appropriate authority,
  3. To organize Gram Sansad, Gram Panchayat & Panchayat Samity level Disaster Management related meeting,
  4. To check the priority lists prepared for distribution of Relief Assistance (both normal & special) and cause any enquiry in this regard if any discrepancy arises or if found inadequate,
  5. To remain present at least once a month at the time and place of distribution of Relief Assistance and also to check whether the muster-rolls are being properly maintained,
  6. To inform Block Development Officer regarding the socio-economic condition of different poverty-stricken areas within the jurisdiction and advise Block Development Officer regarding combating any kind of disaster in these areas well in advance,
  7. To cause enquiries into application for Economic Rehabilitation Grants, Special Relief Assistance and distribution Relief materials,
  8. To help in proper maintenance of accounts in respect of Relief matters and also in clearing outstanding Audit objections in the Block offices and the Sub Division offices,
  9. Specific assistance as sought for by the Chief Accounts officer and the Director of Disaster Management should be given,
  10. To make detailed estimate of loss and damage during and after any disaster and prepare the reports,
  11. To monitor the working and distribution of Relief articles by N.G.Os in their area and
  12. To help in implementation of Rehabilitation programme for Repatriates from Burma, living in registered co-operative societies, monitoring and follow-up actions connected therewith
  13. To keep contact with the Prodhans of the Gram Panchayats (GP) and advise them in the preparation of Gram Panchayat Disaster Management Plan,
  14. To obtain utilization certificate from Prodhans of GPs in respect of Relief assistance distributed through Prodhans from the Block,
  15. To keep constant contacts with members of the Gram Panchayats, Panchayat Samity, extension officers of all Line Departments, Non Governmental Organizations/ CBO.