The Centre has told the Supreme Court that 23 states and Union territories (UTs) have developed the websites of their state disaster management authority (SDMA) in vernacular language also to make it easier for people to understand the issues.
The Centre's submission came before a bench comprising Justices A M Khanwilkar and Deepak Gupta in a matter in which the apex court had in September this year said it was "disheartening" to note that websites of all SDMAs were not bilingual or in vernacular language.
The government told the bench that if some more time was granted, all the states and UTs would comply with the suggestion to make websites of the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) and SDMAs multilingual or in vernacular language.
"Four weeks' time, as prayed for, is granted. List the matter after four weeks," the bench said.
The apex court had in May last year said that it would be advisable for the NDMA to regularly publish its annual report, to review and update all plans on the basis of experiences and to make its website multilingual so that all concerned may benefit.
The court had criticised the lax approach of many states in taking adequate steps to prepare for disasters and had asked the NDMA to remain ever-vigilant and ready to deal with natural disasters.
The court's order had come last year while disposing of a plea by advocate Gaurav Bansal who had sought implementation of provisions of the Disaster Management Act.
Under Section 17 of the Disaster Management Act (DMA), "a state authority may, as and when it considers necessary, constitute an advisory committee, consisting of experts in the field of disaster management and having practical experience of disaster management to make recommendations on different aspects of disaster management".
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