Delhi High Court Directs Centre to View a Single Nodal Agency for Disaster Management Operations in NCR

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Delhi High Court had directed Central Government to deem the petition a representation. This aims for the appointment/designation of a single nodal agency. It is to carry out disaster management operations in the National Capital Region. NCR is also under the National Capital Region Planning Board Act (NCRPB Act), 1985. It also observes the National Disaster Management Act (NDM Act), 2005 (Arjun Narang vs UOI & Ors).

Brief Facts of the Case 

Arjun Narang had filed this petition to seek directions to the Central Government. This was to install the Regional Plan 2021 under the NCRPB Act, 1985. This measure was in relation to medical infrastructure and disaster management. Enactment of the NCRPB Act viewed to settle and regulate the development of the NCR. It also sought to avoid careless growth in areas under UP, and Rajasthan.

Contentions 

The Petitioner mentioned a ‘Study on Health Infrastructure in NCR’. It also got published by NCRPB in December 2015. There were several key gaps in the health infrastructure of Delhi and other NCR regions. Therefore, this resulted in their disorderly progress. Thus, the petitioner demands directions to the NCR region’s Central and State Governments. It also asked them to work in a team and provide a single set of parameters/directions/guidelines. The same was in relation to health infrastructure and disaster management. All should be in agreement with a common COVID-19 response plan.

The petitioner relied on Section 7 of the National Capital Region Planning Board Act. They also stated that the respondents must put in place the Regional Plans under the Act. They should apply the suggestions qua health infrastructure and disaster management. Thus, this was to prepare the region for the current and any future disaster. The approach requires Central Govt to install the Regional Plan 2021 under the NCRPB Act. The Petitioner put forward that respondents’ treatment of PIL as representation would suffice. It sought the decisions to be as per the law. It asks account of the provisions of the NCRPB Act, 1985, that comes with the National Disaster Management Act, 2005.

Court’s Observation 

The Division Bench of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice Prateek Jalan had been setup. The proceedings took place via Video Conferencing. Advocates Pavan Narang, Shantanu Singh appeared along with petitioner-in-person. While, Standing Counsel Amit Mahajan and Advocates Dhruv Pande, Gitesh Chopra represented UOI. It also included ASG Chetan Sharma as representative of UOI. Meanwhile, Advocate Rishikesh Kumar appeared for Delhi Government. Moreover, Advocates Mishal Viz, Satish Kumar along with Mr. Anil Grover represented Haryana Government.

The Court observed the limited submission of the learned counsel for the petitioner. It requested the concerned respondent authorities to consider the grievances in the petition. This included the confirmation of work under a single nodal agency. The work should be under the NCRPB Act, 1985 and NDM Act, 2005. The Court said that this exercise would start out to practice as early as possible.

Court’s Decision 

According to the various considerations mentioned above, the petition got disposed off.


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