A division bench of justices A S Oka and M S Sonak said it was "distressed" with the government's inaction and lethargy towards implementing provisions of the Act and setting up district disaster management authorities.
"The state government quite reluctantly constituted the State Disaster Management Authority and the District Disaster Management Authorities for Mumbai city and suburban Mumbai. Even after it was constituted, these authorities are not functional or are not functioning with the seriousness they are expected to function," the court said.
The bench noted that the last meeting of the state authority was held on May 29 this year and thereafter, no meetings were held.
"This is quite distressing. There are serious issues like flooding of urban areas and drought in rural areas that the state is facing," the court said in its order.
The order was passed in a petition filed by activist Sanjay Lakhe Patil, who sought directions to the government to implement the provisions of the Act.
"The Disaster Management Act was enacted to provide requisite institutional mechanism for setting up of a disaster management plan and undertaking a holistic, coordinated and prompt response to any disaster situation," the court said in its order.
It said for years, the state- and district-level authorities were not even constituted.
"There is complete inaction and total lethargy on part of the state government. We are of the prima facie opinion that the state- and district-level authorities were nothing but a farce," the court said.
"It cannot be the case of the state that the issues of severe water scarcity and other natural disasters are not plaguing the state," it further said.
The court noted that the government has not even made budgetary allocation for funds towards disaster management plans as contemplated under the Act.
The HC directed the state chief secretary to ensure compliance of all its directions and sought an affidavit on February 1, 2019 when the court will hear the petition.
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