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MAHARASHTRA

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ABOUT MAHARASHTRA STATE

Maharashtra occupies the western and central part of the country and has a long coastline stretching nearly 720 kilometers along the Arabian Sea. The Sahyadri mountain ranges provide a physical backbone to the State on the west, while the Satpuda hills along the north and Bhamragad-Chiroli-Gaikhuri ranges on the east serve as it�s natural borders. The State is surrounded by Gujarat to the north west, Madhya Pradesh to the north, Chattisgarh to the east, Andhra Pradesh to the south east, Karnataka to the south and Goa to the south west. Maharashtra State has a geographical area of 3,07,713 sq. km and is bounded by North latitude 15�40� and 22�00� and East Longitudes 72�30� and 80�30�.

The State has a population of 11.24 crore (Census 2011) which is 9.3 per cent of the total population of India. The State is highly urbanised with 45.2 per cent people residing in urban areas. The State has 35 districts which are divided into six revenue divisions viz. Konkan, Pune, Nashik, Aurangabad, Amravati and Nagpur for administrative purposes. The State has a long tradition of having statutory bodies for planning at the district level. For local self-governance in rural areas, there are 33 Zilla Parishads, 351 Panchayat Samitis and 27,906 Gram Panchayats.

The urban areas are governed through 26 Municipal Corporations, 222 Municipal Councils, 7 Nagar Panchayats and 7 Cantonment Boards. Mumbai, the capital of Maharashtra and the financial capital of India, houses the headquarters of most of the major corporate & financial institutions. India's main stock exchanges & capital market and commodity exchanges are located in Mumbai.

The State has 226.1 lakh hectares of land under cultivation and area under forest is 52.1 lakh hectares. Numbers of irrigation projects are being implemented to improve irrigation. A watershed mission has been launched to ensure that soil and water conservation measures are implemented speedily in the unirrigated area. Maharashtra is the most industrialised State and has maintained leading position in the industrial sector in India. The State is pioneer in Small Scale industries.

 The State continues to attract industrial investments from both, domestic as well as foreign institutions. It has become a leading automobile production hub and a major IT growth centre. It boasts of the largest number of special export promotion zones. The State has well spread road network of 2.43 lakh km. (maintained by public works Department and Zilla Parishads). All weather roads and fair weather roads connect more than 99 per cent villages. It has best surface transport facilities and connectivity with sea ports and airports has resulted into good transport system. It has highest installed capacity and generation of electricity in the country. All this has made this state the most favoured destination for investment

 

PHYSIOGRAPHY

Maharashtra is located in the north centre of Peninsular India. It links the north to the south and the plains of India to the southern peninsula. The state is bound on west by Arabian Sea, on north-west by Gujarat, on north by Madhya Pradesh, on southeast by Andhra Pradesh and on south by Karnataka and Goa. It is the third largest state in terms of area in the country. Dominant physical trait of the state is its plateau character. Physiographically this state may be divided into three natural divisions - the coastal strip (the Konkan), the Sahyadri or the Western Ghat and the plateau. The Konkan consists undulating low lands. North Konkan has the vast hinterlands. The Western Ghats running almost parallel to the sea coast. The average height of Sahyadri is 1,200 meters. The slopes of the Sahyadri gently descending towards the east and south-east. Tapi, Godavari, Bhima and Krishna are the main rivers of the state. Maharashtra receives its rainfall mainly from south-west monsoon. The rainfall in state varies considerably. There is heavy rainfall in the coastal region, scanty rains in rain shadow areas in the central part and moderate rains in eastern parts of the state.

 

Geology

 The entire area of the State forms a part of the �Peninsular Shield�, which is composed of rocks commencing from the most ancient rocks of diverse origin, which have undergone considerable metamorphism. Over these ancient rocks of Precambrian era lie a few basins of Proterozoic era and of permo carboniferous periods which are covered by extensive sheets of horizontally bedded lava flows comprising the Deccan trap. More than 80% area of the State is covered by these Deccan trap, which have concealed geologically older formations. The most important economic minerals such as coal, iron ore, manganese ore, limestone, etc. are found in the geologically older formations.

 

Soil

The NBSSLP has published a map of the soils of Maharashtra, dividing the state into 356 soil-mapping units, which are broadly categorized as follows:

 � Soils of Konkan coast

� Soils of Western Ghats

� Soils of Upper Maharashtra �

 Soils of Lower Maharashtra

About 96.4 per cent of the states geographic area is subjected to various degrees of erosion. The soil profile reveals that the incidence of severe erosion is the highest in the Western Ghats 53.1 percent), followed by lower Maharashtra (11.5 percent).

 

Climate

The climate of the State is tropical. The Western Ghats hill ranges run north to south separating the coastal districts of Thane, Mumbai, Raigarh, Ratnagiri and Sindhudurg from rest of the State. The average height of these ranges is about 1000 m amsl form an important climatic divide. The coastal areas receive very high monsoon rains while to the east of the Ghats rainfall drops drastically within short distance from the Ghats. Towards further east, the rainfall once again gradually increases. The State experiences four seasons during a year. March to May is the summer season followed by rainy season from June to September. The post monsoon season is October and November. December to February is the Winter season.

 

Socio-economic conditions

 Although Maharashtra is a highly industrialised state of India, agriculture continues to be the main occupation of the people. About 61% of the people directly or indirectly depend on agriculture and allied activities for their livelihood. Principal crops of the state are rice, jowar, bajra, wheat, tur, mung, urad, gram and other pulses. Maharashtra is a major producer of oilseeds like groundnut, sunflower, soyabean etc. Major cash crops of the state are cotton, sugarcane, turmeric and vegetables. Horticulture has a very important place in this state. Varieties of fruits like mango, orange, banana, grape, cashew nut etc. are produced in this state. The Nagpur oranges and Alphonso mangoes are very famous. There were about 10.91 lakh hectares of land under horticulture. Fishing is an important activity of this state.

 

INSTITUTIONAL SETUP

The National emergency management authority was constituted in Aug 1999, which submitted a report in 2001, to have separate department for Disaster management in India Government enacted the National disaster management act on 23rd Dec 2005, which lead to the creation of National disaster management authority (NDMA).

Maharashtra State Disaster Management Authority (MSDMA): The Maharashtra State Disaster Management Authority was constituted on 24th May 2006 under section 14 of the Disaster Management Act, 2005, with the Chief Minister as Chairperson, Deputy Chief Minister as Vice-chairperson, three Ministers, three unofficial members and the Chief Secretary as the Chief Executive Officer. It was stated by the Director (SDMA) that all members of the Authority hold position in their ex officio capacity. However, this position is apparently not correct since three unofficial members have been appointed by name and not by designation on ex officio basis. There is, however, no legal infirmity in the constitution of the State Authority which is in accordance with the provisions of the Act.

State Emergency Operation Centre (SEOC): Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) is proposed with desk arrangements for specific activities during a disaster. The EOC will be linked to State Emergency Operation Centre (SEOC) constituted at state level. Division Emergency Operations Centre will have very limited participation of people to avoid chaos and confusion. Therefore, the non-government agencies although having a role in the rescue and relief operations will not be represented in the Division Emergency Operations Centre. However, to ensure the utilization of the manpower and material resources of these agencies, the Plan advocates to constitute a SubGroup comprising of representatives of only non-government agencies, which will be responsible for distribution of relief materials obtained from external source, and also to support the government's requirement of additional manpower and material.

Emergency Support Functions (ESF) are the essentials of Emergency Management that provide the coordination mechanisms among the various agencies; they provide the  organization and process to plan, manage and coordinate specific response and preparedness activities common to - any hazardous event that can result in an emergency from the most frequent one to the most extreme one. Each ESF is headed by a lead agency and is supported by identified support agencies. These ESFs form an integral part of the Emergency Operation Centers.

State Executive Committee: Simultaneously, a State Executive Committee (SEC) was also constituted with the Chief Secretary as the Chairperson and Additional Chief Secretary (Home), Additional Chief Secretary (Finance), Secretary (Public Health), Secretary (Relief and Rehabilitation) as Members and a retired General as Member Secretary.

A composite secretariat has been established for SDMA, as well as SEC, under the Chairmanship of Additional Chief Secretary (Relief and Rehabilitation). He is supported by a full time Executive Director with two full time Directors, one each for mitigation and response. A post of Financial Advisor is in the process of being created. Likewise, there are six Desks already in position, two each for mitigation, response and finance.

District Disaster Management Authority (DDMA):  The disaster management will be more effective and sustainable if it is institutionalised. For this purpose Government of India has already passed Disaster Management Act on 23rd December, 2005, where it is clearly outlined that a Disaster Management Authority to be formed at the district level. It will be the apex body at the district level. Disaster management would involve many layers of participating organization. The three focal levels would be State, District and the site of the disaster. The State level agencies would be involved in policy/decisions making, resource and budget allocation and monitoring through the State Emergency Operations Centre. The District Disaster Management Committee (DDMC) is an apex planning body and plays a major role in preparedness and mitigation. The district level response is co-ordinated under the guidance of the District Collector, who acts as a District Disaster Manager.

Revenue and Forests Department: The Relief and Rehabilitation Division under the Revenue and Forest Department in the Government of Maharashtra is the nodal agency for disaster management in the state.

Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC): Bhabha Atomic Research Centre is a premier multi-disciplinary nuclear research centre of India having excellent infrastructure for advanced research and development with expertise covering the entire spectrum of nuclear science and engineering and related areas. It functions under the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE). BARC has developed several spin-off technologies which find wide applications in a variety of sectors. The Centre has been passing on these technologies to the government, public and private sectors. It maintains a strong R & D base, a contingent of highly qualified and specialized manpower and a vast infrastructure consisting of ultra modern facilities and latest equipment, BARC provides consultancy and expert scientific services in hi-tech areas. BARC supports the achievement of DRM related objectives e.g. putting in place systems for radiological emergencies, establishment of Nuclear Power Plants for power generation, mitigation of the effects of climate change, etc. by sharing the outputs of its researches.

Mumbai Metropolitan and Region Development Authority (MMRDA): MMRDA28 was set up on the 26th January 1975 under the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority Act, 1974 Government of Maharashtra as an apex body for planning and co-ordination of development activities in the Region. It prepares plans, formulates policies and programs and helps in directing investments in the Region. It conceives, promotes and monitors the key projects for developing new growth centres and brings about improvement in sectors like transport, housing, water supply and environment in the Region. Moreover, if a project is of particular significance, the MMRDA takes up the responsibility for its implementation. MMRDA functions in close coordination with MCGM. As for DRM related function, MMRDA considers the DRM plan while conducting review of the regional plan for the Mumbai Metropolitan Region, integrates risk reduction in the planning and  implementation, e.g. recognition of proneness to natural hazards of each geographical location, site adaptation of construction, revision of building codes, etc.

Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority(MHADA): MHADA30 was established by the State Government in 1977 through the Maharashtra Housing and Development Act, 1976. It had over 19,642 old dilapidated tenanted buildings and is concerned with repair of these buildings and development of alternate housing units where these buildings are beyond repairs and may collapse. MHADA engineers conduct visual inspections of buildings to determine their structural safety and carry out repairs where necessary. MHADA also undertakes vulnerability assessment in the context of these old buildings.

Maharashtra Fire Services: The subject of Fire Services in the State of Maharashtra is vested with the Urban Local Bodies. The Service was initially expected to focus on fighting fires, and the law constrained what they could do. Since then, the role of the Fire Service has changed a great deal