May 30, 2024

Generals Studies Paper -1 

Context: The Prime Minister addressed the 6th edition of the International Conference on Disaster Resilient Infrastructure.

About

  • CDRI is a global partnership of National Governments, UN agencies and programmes, multilateral development banks and financing mechanisms, the private sector, academic and knowledge institutions.
  • CDRI was launched by the Prime Minister during the United Nations Climate Action Summit in 2019, at New York.
  • Members: 31 Countries, 6 International Organizations and 2 private sector organizations.
  • Secretariat: New Delhi
  • Theme for 6th ICDRI: Investing today for a more resilient tomorrow.

What is Disaster Resilient Infrastructure?

  • Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (DRI) refers to the design and construction of infrastructure systems that can withstand, adapt to, and rapidly recover from disasters.
  • This resilience ensures uninterrupted essential services even during calamities.
  • As urbanization and national growth accelerate, infrastructure, such as power, water, and transportation become ever more crucial.

Need for the DRI?

  • Disasters exacerbated by climate change are diminishing infrastructure investments across the world.
    • Flash floods in megacities like New York and Seoul claimed many lives and crippled urban infrastructure systems.
    • Earthquakes in Morocco and Turkey were not only devastating for infrastructure but as well as lives and livelihoods.
    • A cloudburst led to glacial lake overflow in Sikkim claiming many lives causing a great amount of damage to the critical infrastructure including roads connecting the mountain state with the rest of India.
  • Resilience during Disasters: These consecutive disaster events serve as a stark reminder of the critical importance of designing and investing in infrastructure that is resilient during unpredictable disasters.
  • Future Outlook: It is now estimated that by 2030, without substantial investments in fortifying cities globally against potential threats, natural disasters could inflict an annual financial burden of approximately US$314 billion on cities.
    • Therefore, transitioning to Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (DRI) and flexible urban strategies is essential for improving the quality of life for people.
  • With the mounting threats of climate change intensifying natural disasters, the shift towards DRI isn’t just strategic—it’s vital for economic stability and human well-being.

Pathways to Make Infrastructure Disaster Resilient

  • At the core of Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (DRI) is an understanding of evolving risks, like shifting cyclonic patterns due to global warming.
    • This knowledge helps setting up appropriate building codes and design standards, crucial components that pave the way for integrated resilience across diverse sectors.
  • Tailored infrastructure design, such as those responsive to flood risks or preparatory activities like pre-monsoon drain cleaning, solidifies a system’s disaster resilience.
  • Regular infrastructure risk assessments are pivotal to find vulnerabilities in critical sectors like transport, power, and telecommunications.
    • These assessments, bolstered by risk mitigation strategies, protect against potential damages.
  • Localized evaluations in cities and towns further contribute essential data for holistic planning.

India’s Pathway to DRI

  • India’s path to resilience encompasses enhancing disaster risk comprehension across diverse landscapes, powered by geographic information systems (GIS) mapping and innovative technologies.
    • Effective DRI necessitates the confluence of data-driven infrastructure planning, potent risk-informed investments, and propagation of early warning systems.
  • Further, central to achieving DRI is the collaboration between all governance tiers, academia, private enterprises, infrastructure experts and local communities.
    • For instance, the successful implementation of the Integrated Flood Risk Management Plan (IFRMP) in Assam’s River Basins (Beki, Buridehing, and Jiadhal) focused on a multi-disciplinary approach involving key stakeholders.
    • The project reduced flood and river erosion risks for approximately 100,000 people along the Beki and Buridehing rivers, and 10,000 will have access to updated flood shelters.

Conclusion

  • Building a disaster-resilient infrastructure is a complex task, requiring a blend of strategic planning, innovation, finance, and most importantly, a collective approach.
  • Nations need to champion these components, ensuring they are not only prepared for future calamities but also poised for sustainable growth.
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