The first ever National Disaster Risk Index, which gauges potential hazards and disasters across the 640 districts of India, places Maharashtra as the most vulnerable, followed by West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan. Among the Union Territories (UTs), Delhi is at ‘most risk’.
Interestingly, the states which are prone to natural calamities – Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh and Northeastern states – have been placed down the order. The rationale behind this is the consideration of population, agriculture and economic factors.
The disaster index is currently in form of a draft, which is yet to be officially released by the Centre. The list was prepared by the Ministry of Home Affairs in coordination with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
National Disaster Risk Index: Top 10 ‘Most Vulnerable’ States
- West Bengal
- Uttar Pradesh
- Madhya Pradesh
- Andhra Pradesh
National Disaster Risk Index: Top 10 Districts at ‘Most Risk’
Among districts, Maharashtra’s Pune tops the list with a vulnerability factor of 9.48 on a scale of 10. Pune is closely followed by Bengal’s North 24 Parganas and South 24 Parganas. Bangalore and Gulbarga in Karnataka also make the list.
- North 24 Parganas
- South 24 Parganas
- Mumbai Suburban
In the decade between 2005 to 2014, India emerged among the top four disaster prone-countries in the world. A total of 167 major disasters were recorded between the period, causing a loss of more than $47 billion, as per the data shared by the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction.
In the recent past, some states like Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Assam, Tripura, and Himachal Pradesh have taken significant steps in Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR). These states have invested in building disaster-resilient infrastructure and early warning systems. Also, capacity building by some states has led to a lower risk to their population economy.
This index is currently in a draft form made by the Union Home Ministry with support from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) believes that ‘in many countries, the process of development itself has a huge impact both positive and negative on disaster risk. It shows how countries that face similar patterns of natural hazards from floods to droughts often experience widely differing impacts when disasters occur. The impact depends in large part on the kind of development choices they have made previously.’