Disaster Management Act of Bhutan, 2013

Link to law: http://www.nationalcouncil.bt/assets/uploads/docs/acts/2014/Disaster_Management_Act_of_Bhutan_2013eng10th.pdf

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TABLE OF CONTENTS

Title Page

Preamble ................................................................................... 1
chapter 1 Preliminary ................................................................. 2
chapter 2 national Disaster Management authority .................. 3
chapter 3 Dzongkhag Disaster Management committee ........... 7
chapter 4 the inter-Ministerial task force ............................. 15
chapter 5 Department/secretariat of national Disaster

Management authority ............................................ 17
chapter 6 agency and Private sector ....................................... 21
chapter 7 Disaster Management and contingency Plan ........... 23
chapter 8 financial arrangement ............................................. 25
Chapter 9 Classification of Disaster .......................................... 27
chapter 10 critical Disaster Management facility ................... 29
chapter 11 relief assistance and compensation ..................... 31
chapter 12 offences and Penalties ........................................... 32
chapter 13 Miscellaneous ......................................................... 34

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Preamble

Whereas in pursuit of gross national happiness, the royal
government of Bhutan deems it necessary to protect the lives and
properties of the people, ensure safety and security of the public
assets and services by reducing and managing risk arising out of
disaster, which threatens or affects the nation as a whole or part
thereof.

Whereas it is important to adopt holistic approach to disaster
management involving agencies and the private sectors.

Whereas it is expedient to promote a systematic disaster risk
management approach to deal with disasters.

Parliament of the Kingdom of Bhutan do hereby enact the Disaster
Management act of Bhutan 2013 on the 17th Day of 1st Month of the
Water female snake Year of the Bhutanese calendar corresponding
to the 27th Day of feburary, 2013 during its 10th session as follows:

Chapter 1
Preliminary

Short Title, Commencement and Extent

1. this act shall:
a) Be called the Disaster ManageMent act of

Bhutan 2013;

b) come into force on the 7th Day of the 2nd Month of the
Water female snake Year of the Bhutanese calendar
corresponding to 18th Day of the March 2013; and

c) extend to the whole of Bhutan.

Repeal
2. this act shall repeals the national Disaster risk Management

framework, 2006 and provisions of any law including
directives and circulars that are inconsistent with this act.

Limitation of application of Act
3. This Act shall not apply to an emergency wherein the financial

stability or credit of Bhutan is threatened or the sovereignty,
security and territorial integrity of Bhutan or any part thereof
is threatened by an act of external aggression, armed rebellion,
terrorism or civil disorder.

Relationship to other Acts
4. nothing in this act prevents a declaration of an emergency

under another act such as the national emergency act of the
Kingdom of Bhutan.

1.

2.

3.

4.

5. the powers during threatening disaster situation or disaster
are in addition to and do not limit the powers a person may
have under another act such as national emergency act of the
Kingdom of Bhutan.

Purpose
6. the purpose of this act is to provide for:

a) the establishment and strengthening of institutional
capacity for disaster management;

b) Mainstreaming of disaster risk reduction;
c) an integrated and coordinated disaster management

focusing on community participation; and
d) Matters incidental thereto.

Chapter 2
National Disaster Management Authority

Establishment of National Disaster Management Authority
7. the national Disaster Management authority shall be the

highest decision making body on disaster management in
Bhutan.

Composition of National Disaster Management Authority
8. the national Disaster Management authority shall comprise of:

a) The Prime Minister, who shall be the ex-officio Chairperson;
b) the Minister of home and cultural affairs, who shall be

the ex-officio Vice Chairperson;
c) the finance Minister;

5.

6. :

7.

8. :

d) the secretaries of all Ministries;
e) gyalpoi Zimpon.
f) the head of the national environment commission;
g) the secretary of the gross national happiness

commission;
h) President of Bhutan chamber of commerce and industry
i) the head of the Department of Disaster Management,

who shall be the Member-secretary; and
j) such other member as may be co-opted in accordance

with the rules framed under this act.
9. on the expiry of the term of the national assembly or in

the event of its dissolution, the chief advisor of the interim
government shall assume the duties of the chairperson of the
authority until the reconstitution of the national assembly.

10. composition of the national Disaster Management authority
shall not exceed 20 including compulsory members.

Function of National Disaster Management Authority
11. the national Disaster Management authority shall:

a) approve the Disaster Management strategic Policy
framework;

b) approve the national Disaster Management and
contingency Plan;

c) approve hazard zonation and vulnerability map;
d) approve structural and non-structural measures and direct

its implementation;
e) approve national standard, guideline and standard

operating procedure for effective disaster management

9.

10.

11. :

including but not limited to objective assessment tool.
f) recommend allocation of fund for the purpose of recovery

and reconstruction;
g) Direct agencies to mainstream disaster risk reduction

into their development plans, policies, programmes and
projects;

h) allocate resources from the national Disaster Management
Budget; and

i) ensure the establishment of an inter-Ministerial task
force.

12. Without prejudice to the generality of the provision contained
in section 11 of this act, the national Disaster Management
authority may:

a) Direct any agency including private sector on disaster
management;

b) establish/commission research, development and training
in the field of disaster management;

c) Direct the Department of Disaster Management,
Dzongkhag Disaster Management committees and
agencies including the private sector as may be necessary
for the effective implementation of this act; or

d) Perform such other function as may be prescribed under
this act or any law in force.

13. in the case of disaster, the chairperson of the national Disaster
Management authority may exercise all or any of the functions
of the Authority, subject to ex post facto ratification by the
authority.

12.

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13.

International Assistance
14. the national Disaster Management authority shall build

relationship in the field of disaster management and disaster
risk reduction with government of other countries, legitimate
international organizations, international non-governmental
organizations, business establishments or volunteer groups.

15. the national Disaster Management authority shall put in
place a mechanism for international cooperation in the field of
disaster risk reduction and disaster management.

16. the national Disaster Management authority may, based on
needs assessment and national capacity to respond to disaster,
make recommendations to the government to appeal for
international humanitarian assistance to deal with disaster
effectively.

17. the government may accept assistance of government of other
countries, legitimate international organizations, international
non-governmental organizations, business establishments or
volunteer groups to discharge its duties under this act.

18. subject to agreements entered between the royal
government and governments of other countries or
legitimate international organizations, the national Disaster
Management authority may, in accordance with the rules and
regulations framed under this act, regulate:

a) Procedure for initiating and terminating international
disaster response, relief and recovery assistance;

b) Procedure for accepting international disaster response,
relief and recovery assistance; and

c) conduct of international disaster response, relief and
recovery operation.

14.

15.

16.

17.

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Meeting and Procedure
19. the national Disaster Management authority shall meet at

least once every six months.

20. the chairperson of the national Disaster Management
authority may call a special meeting, if:

a) there is a threatening disaster situation or disaster;
b) a written request is made by a simple majority of the

total number of members of the authority; or
c) the chairperson considers necessary.

21. the quorum for the transaction of business of the national
Disaster Management authority shall be a simple majority of
the total number of members of the authority.

22. the national Disaster Management authority may allow
members to be present in its meeting by using any technology
that reasonably allows a member to participate in the discussion.

23. the national Disaster Management authority shall conduct its
meetings in accordance with the rules and regulations framed
under this act.

Chapter 3
Dzongkhag Disaster Management Committee

Constitution of Dzongkhag Disaster Management Committee

24. every Dzongkhag administration shall constitute a Dzongkhag
Disaster Management committee.

19.

20.

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21.

22.

23.

24.

Composition of Dzongkhag Disaster Management Committee
25. the Dzongkhag Disaster Management committee shall

comprise of:

a) The Dzongdag, who shall be the ex-officio Chairperson;
b) A Dzongkhag Welfare Officer from the Druk Gyalpo’s

office of People’s Welfare if any;
c) chairperson of the Dzongkhag tshogdu;
d) all gups;
e) all thrompons /thromde thuemi.
f) The Superintendent of Police or Officer-in-Charge,

royal Bhutan Police;
g) the Drungchen of the Zhung Dratshang or Dzongkhag

rabdeys ;
h) The Dzongkhag Disaster Management Officer, who

shall be the Member-secretary; and
i) such other member as may be co-opted in accordance

with the rules framed under this act.
26. on the expiry of the term of the gup/thrompon/thromde

thuemi or in the event of resignation, the chairperson of the
Dzongkhag Disaster Management committee shall designate
the most appropriate official in the Gewog/Thromde who shall
represent in the Dzongkhag Disaster Management during the
interim period.

27. composition of the Dzongkhag Disaster Management
committee shall not exceed 25 including compulsory members.

28. the Dzongkhag Disaster Management committee shall elect
a Vice Chairperson from amongst its members in accordance
with the rules and regulations framed under this act.

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27.

28.

29. The term of the Vice Chairperson elected under section 28 of
this act shall be for three years.

Function of Dzongkhag Disaster Management Committee
30. the Dzongkhag Disaster Management committee shall

be responsible for coordinating and managing all disaster
management operations in the Dzongkhag under the direction
and supervision of the national Disaster Management
authority.

31. the Dzongkhag Disaster Management committee shall:

a) Prepare, review, update and implement the Dzongkhag
Disaster Management and contingency Plan;

b) Monitor and evaluate measures taken for prevention,
mitigation, preparedness, response and capacity building
by each sector in the Dzongkhag;

c) ensure establishment and functioning of critical Disaster
Management facility;

d) ensure mainstreaming of disaster risk reduction into the
development plan, policy, programme and project;

e) ensure compliance of the approved hazard zonation and
vulnerability map;

f) ensure the enforcement of structural and non-structural
measures;

g) ensure that information about an event or a disaster
is promptly communicated to the national Disaster
Management authority, Department of Disaster
Management and all concerned;

h) Ensure that the damage assessments in the field are
carried out professionally and efficiently without fear or
favour

29.

30.

31. :

i) coordinate and support disaster response and relief
operation including recovery and reconstruction.

j) ensure that detailed reports and regular updates on
disaster event is provided to the Department of Disaster
Management upon completion of field assessment of the
situation;

k) With the support of the Department of Disaster
Management promote education, awareness, capacity
building and community training on hazard, risk,
vulnerability and measure to be taken by the community
to prevent, mitigate and respond to disaster;

l) conduct regular mock drill;
m) report on a quarterly basis to the national Disaster

Management authority on the progress of implementation
of its Disaster Management and contingency Plan;

n) Direct Dungkhag, thromde and gewog Disaster
Management subcommittee, if any, on such matters as
may be necessary for the effective implementation of this
act; and

o) Perform such other function as may be prescribed under
this act or any law in force or as directed by the national
Disaster Management authority.

32. in the case of a disaster, the chairperson of the Dzongkhag
Disaster Management committee may exercise all or any of the
functions of the Dzongkhag Disaster Management committee,
subject to ex post facto ratification of the committee.

33. the Dzongkhag Disaster Management committee shall meet
at least twice a year.

34. the Dzongkhag Disaster Management committee may frame
rules and regulations concerning the conduct of its meeting.

32.

33.
34.

Disaster Management Subcommittee
35. the Dzongkhag Disaster Management committee may,

if it considers necessary, constitute a subcommittee at the
Dungkhag, thromde or gewog level to assist the Dzongkhag
Disaster Management committee in the performance of its
functions under this act.

36. the Dzongkhag Disaster Management committee may
frame rules and regulations under this act to determine the
composition and function of a subcommittee constituted under
section 35 of this act.

Function of Chairperson
37. the chairperson of the Dzongkhag Disaster Management

committee shall exercise and discharge such functions of the
Dzongkhag Disaster Management committee as the committee
may delegate.

38. Without prejudice to the generality of the provision contained
in section 37 of this act, the chairperson of the Dzongkhag
Disaster Management committee shall:

a) regularly review and assess the effectiveness of
Dzongkhag Disaster Management and contingency
Plan;

b) ensure decision and policy formulated by the Dzongkhag
Disaster Management committee is implemented;

c) ensure that disaster risk reduction and disaster
management activities are consistent with Disaster
Management strategic Policy framework;

d) Provide prompt information on a disaster or an
impending disaster situation to the Department of
Disaster Management;

e) Provide regular updates and detailed reports on a disaster

35.

36.

37.

38.

:

event to the Department of Disaster Management upon
completion of field assessment of the situation;

f) Manage response and relief operation in accordance
with the directives issued by the national Disaster
Management authority; and

g) coordinate delivery of services and resources to disaster
affected communities.

Function of Gup and Thrompon/Thromde Thuemi
39. gup and thrompon/ thromde thuemi shall:

a) assist in the preparation of the Dzongkhag Disaster
Management and contingency Plan;

b) ensure mainstreaming of disaster risk reduction into
gewog and thromde plan, policy, programme and
project;

c) report to the Dzongkhag Disaster Management
committee on the measures taken by each sector
on awareness, prevention, mitigation, preparedness,
response and capacity building;

d) report on a quarterly basis to the Dzongkhag Disaster
Management committee on the progress of the
implementation of Dzongkhag Disaster Management
and contingency Plan or gewog or thromde Disaster
Management and contingency Plan, if any;

e) educate and raise awareness on various hazard, risk
and vulnerability in the community

f) Promote and support community capacity building;
g) conduct regular mock drill;
h) Facilitate efficient functioning of Critical Disaster

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Management facility;
i) ensure adherence to hazard zonation and vulnerability

map;
j) ensure implementation of structural and non-structural

measures;
k) ensure that information about a disaster is promptly

communicated to the Dzongkhag Disaster Management
committee and all concerned;

l) conduct disaster response, relief and recovery operation
under the direction and supervision of the Dzongkhag
Disaster Management committee; and

m) identify and mobilize local resource that may be required
during response and relief operation.

40. on the expiry of the term of the gup/thrompon/thromde
Thuemi or in the event of resignation, an appropriate official
designated by the chairperson of the Dzongkhag Disaster
Management committee to represent the gewog/thromde in
the Dzongkhag Disaster Management committee shall carry
out the functions of the gup/thrompon/thromde thuemi.

Powers during threatening disaster situation or disaster

41. the chairperson of the Dzongkhag Disaster Management
committee may, by an order in writing, for the purpose of
response and relief operation.
a) requisition necessary human and material resources

from any agency, civil society organization, private
sector or person; and

b) secure any premises that may be necessary for the
conduct of response and relief operation.

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41.

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42. any agency, civil society organization, private sector or person
shall make available to the Dzongkhag Disaster Management
committee resources requisitioned under section 41 of this
act.

43. the chairperson of the Dzongkhag Disaster Management
committee may, by an order direct the owner of a property to
put the property under the control or at the disposal of a person
stated in the notice.

44. the chairperson of the Dzongkhag Disaster Management
committee may enter or authorize any person to enter a place,
if satisfied on reasonable grounds that it is necessary to enter
the place to avoid imminent risk of death or injury to a person.

45. the chairperson or a person entering a place under section
44 of this act may enter using reasonable force and without a
warrant or the consent of the owner or occupant of the place,
provided that the person makes a reasonable attempt to do the
following:

a) inform the owner or occupant the purpose of the entry;
and

b) inform the owner or occupant that it is permitted under
this Act to enter the place without the owner or occupant’s
consent.

46. the chairperson or a person entering a place under section 44
of this act may:

a) search any part of the place;
b) open a container or other item at the place using

reasonable force;
c) remove any item from the place;

42.

43.

44.

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d) take into the place equipment, persons or materials that
is reasonably required to discharge the duties under this
section; or

e) Direct a person to leave or not to enter, if the direction is
necessary to protect the person’s life or health.

47. the chairperson of the Dzongkhag Disaster Management
committee or a authorized person proceeding under this act,
may inform a person that:

a) it is an offence to obstruct or refuse to comply with any

directives given by the chairperson unless the person

has a reasonable excuse; and

b) The Chairperson considers the person’s conduct an

obstruction.

48. the provisions under sections 41 to 47 shall apply mutatis
mutandis to operation coordinator, thrompon/thromde
thuemi or gup.

Chapter 4
The Inter-Ministerial Task Force

Constitution of Inter-Ministerial Task Force
49. the national Disaster Management authority shall constitute

an inter-Ministerial task force.

Composition of Inter-Ministerial Task Force
50. the inter-Ministerial task force shall comprise of technical

experts from relevant agencies.

47.

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48.

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49.

50.

51. the inter-Ministerial task force shall consist of such number
of members as prescribed by the national Disaster Management
authority.

52. the head of the Department of Disaster Management/executive
Head of the Secretariat shall be the ex-officio Chairperson of
the inter-Ministerial task force.

53. The Inter-Ministerial Task Force shall elect a Vice Chairperson
from amongst its members in accordance with rules and
regulations framed under this act.

54. The term of the Vice Chairperson elected under section 53 of
this act shall be for three years.

55. the chairperson of the inter-Ministerial task force shall
designate one of the members as Member-secretary to the task
force.

Function of Inter-Ministerial Task Force
56. the inter-Ministerial task force shall:

a) review hazard zonation and vulnerability map and
structural and non-structural measures;

b) review disaster risk reduction and disaster management
activities;

c) review national standard, guideline and standard
operating procedure for disaster management;

d) Provide necessary technical assistance in the preparation
of Disaster Management and contingency Plan, where
necessary;

e) advise relevant agency in setting up critical Disaster
Management facility; and

51.

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53.

54.

55.

56. :

f) Perform such other function as may be directed by the
national Disaster Management authority.

57. the inter-Ministerial task force shall frame rules concerning
the conduct of its meeting.

Chapter 5
Department/Secretariat of National Disaster Management

Authority

58. the Department of Disaster Management under the Ministry
of home and cultural affairs/secretariat of national Disaster
Management authority shall be headed by a Director or
Director general/executive head who shall be a civil servant.

Secretariat to the National Disaster Management Authority

59. the Department of Disaster Management/secretariat of
national Disaster Management authority shall serve as
the secretariat and executive arm of the national Disaster
Management authority and also function as the national
coordinating agency for disaster management.

Function of the Department/Secretariat

60. the Department of Disaster Management/secretariat of
national Disaster Management authority shall:

a) Lay down the disaster management strategic policy
framework.

b) ensure that agencies mainstream disaster risk reduction
into their development plans, policies, programmes and
projects.

c) Prepare the national Plan in coordination with relevant
agencies;

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60. /

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d) formulate national standard, guideline and standard
operating procedure for disaster management;

e) Develop and implement public education, awareness and
capacity building programme on disaster management;

f) Develop standard training module and curriculum on
disaster management in coordination with relevant
agencies;

g) Develop, maintain and update Disaster Management
information system in coordination with relevant
agencies;

h) ensure the implementation of Disaster Management and
contingency Plan and disaster management activities at
all levels;

i) facilitate the constitution of Disaster Management
Committees and ensure its efficient functioning;

j) facilitate the formulation of hazard zonation and
vulnerability map by relevant agencies;

k) facilitate and coordinate the setting up of critical
Disaster Management facility and ensure its effective
and efficient functioning;

l) facilitate the establishment/commissioning of research,
development and training in the field of disaster
management;

m) collaborate with government of other countries,
legitimate international organizations, international non-
governmental organizations, business establishments
or volunteer groups identified by the National Disaster

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Management authority;
n) facilitate and coordinate international disaster response,

relief and recovery assistance on a day-to-day basis in
accordance with the rules and regulations framed under
this act;

o) coordinate and support Dzongkhag Disaster
Management committee during disaster response and
relief operation including recovery and reconstruction;

p) submit periodic report to the national Disaster
Management authority on all issues pertaining to
disaster management; and

q) Perform such other function as may be prescribed under
this act or any law in force or as directed by the national
Disaster Management authority.

r) the Department of Disaster Management shall ensure
that the national Plan is available for inspection by the
public.

Operation Coordinator
61. upon declaration of a disaster, the head of the Department of

Disaster Management/executive head shall assume the role
of operation coordinator under the supervision and direction
of the chairperson of the national Disaster Management
authority.

62. the operation coordinator shall designate and direct the
concerned agency to operationalise effective response and
relief operations.

Dzongkhag Disaster Management Officer

63. the government shall recruit a Dzongkhag Disaster Management
Officer in all the Dzongkhags.

61.

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62.

63.

Function of the Dzongkhag Disaster Management Officer

64. subject to the direction of the Department of Disaster
Management/secretariat of national Disaster Management
Authority, the Dzongkhag Disaster Management Officer shall:

a) assist in the preparation, implementation, review and
update of the Dzongkhag Disaster Management and
contingency Plan;

b) facilitate the preparation and implementation of Disaster
Management and contingency Plans of the Dungkhag,
thromde and gewog, if any;

c) facilitate mainstreaming of disaster risk reduction into
development plan, policy, programme and project of the
Dzongkhag;

d) facilitate the implementation of disaster risk reduction
and capacity building activity and awareness programme;

e) facilitate the implementation and monitoring of recovery
and reconstruction activity;

f) coordinate response and relief operation during a
disaster;

g) ensure conduct of regular mock drill;
h) Maintain, update and ensure efficient functioning of the

Disaster Management information system;
i) compile quarterly report on the implementation of the

Dzongkhag Disaster Management and contingency
Plan;

j) ensure timely submission of a report to the Department

64. /

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of Disaster Management on the occurrence of disaster or

threatening disaster situation; and

k) Perform such other function as may be prescribed

under this act or any law in force or as directed by

the Department or Dzongkhag Disaster Management

committee.

65. Without prejudice to the generality of the provision contained
in section 64 of this act, the Dzongkhag Disaster Management
Officer shall ensure the efficient functioning of the Critical
Disaster Management facility.

Chapter 6
Agency and Private Sector

Function of Agency and Private Sector

66. Every agency including the private sector notified by the
national Disaster Management authority shall institute a
Disaster Management unit in its organization.

67. An agency notified by the National Disaster Management
authority shall:

a) Prepare, implement, review and update Disaster
Management and contingency Plan in accordance with
the guideline formulated under this act;

b) Put in place a plan that would reasonably ensure
continuity of critical services in the event of disaster;

65.

66.

67.
:

c) Develop hazard zonation and vulnerability map

including structural and non-structural measures;

d) ensure compliance of approved hazard zonation and

vulnerability map;

e) ensure compliance and monitor implementation of

structural and non-structural measures;

f) ensure the establishment, functioning and maintenance

of critical Disaster Management facility;

g) Provide assistance to Dzongkhag Disaster Management

committee, as and when required; and

h) Perform such other function as may be prescribed under

this act or any law in force or as directed by the national

Disaster Management authority.

68. The private sector notified by the National Disaster Management
authority shall:

a) Prepare, implement, review and update Disaster

Management and contingency Plan in accordance with

the guideline formulated under this act;

b) Put in place a plan that would reasonably ensure

continuity of critical services in the event of disaster;

c) Provide assistance to Dzongkhag Disaster Management

committees, as and when required; and

d) Perform such other function as may be prescribed under

this act or any law in force.

68.
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Mainstreaming Disaster Risk Reduction
69. gewog, thromde, Dzongkhag, agency and private sector

notified under sections 67 and 68 of this Act shall ensure
mainstreaming of disaster risk reduction into its development
plan, policy, programme and project.

70. the Department of Disaster Management shall coordinate the
mainstreaming of disaster risk reduction into the development
plan, policy, programme and project of a gewog, thromde,
Dzongkhag, agency and private sector notified under sections
67 and 68 of this act.

71. every gewog, thromde, Dzongkhag and agency shall make
provision for funds in its five year plan and annual plan and
budget for the purpose of mainstreaming of disaster risk
reduction and carrying out the activities set out in its Disaster
Management and contingency Plan.

72. the government shall accord high priority to mainstreaming
of disaster risk reduction and ensure agencies receive adequate
budget.

Chapter 7

Disaster Management and Contingency Plan

73. the Disaster Management and contingency Plan shall make
provision for:

a) Prevention, mitigation and preparedness;
b) Maintaining emergency stockpiles including procedure

for its release, replenishment and distribution;

69.

70.

71.

72.

73.
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c) Efficient response and relief during disasters;

d) Budget projection for the implementation of the plan; and

e) such other matter as provided for in the guideline

formulated under this act.

National Disaster Management and Contingency Plan
74. the Department of Disaster Management shall prepare

the national Plan in line with the Disaster Management
and contingency Plan prepared by agencies and Disaster
Management committees.

75. the national Disaster Management authority shall approve
the national Disaster Management and contingency Plan.

Disaster Management and Contingency Plan prepared by
Agency and Private Sector
76. Every agency and private sector notified under sections 67

and 68 of this act shall prepare its Disaster Management and
contingency Plan.

Dzongkhag Disaster Management and Contingency Plan
77. the Dzongkhag Disaster Management committee shall prepare

a Dzongkhag Disaster Management and contingency Plan for
its Dzongkhag in consultation with the Local governments
within its jurisdiction.

78. the Dzongkhag Disaster Management committee shall submit
a copy of its Disaster Management and contingency Plan to
the national Disaster Management authority.

Update and Review of Disaster Management and Contingency

74.

75.

76.

77.

78.

Plan
79. Dzongkhag Disaster Management committee, agencies and

private sector notified under sections 67 and 68 of this Act
shall update its Disaster Management and contingency Plan at
least once a year and review the Plan every five years.

Chapter 8
Financial Arrangement

Response and Relief Expenditure
80. the Dzongkhag Disaster Management committee shall, as

an emergency measure, meet the expenses for response and
relief operation from the annual budget of the Dzongkhag
in accordance with the guideline formulated jointly by the
national Disaster Management authority and the Ministry of
finance.

81. the national Disaster Management authority shall recommend
to the Minister of finance to authorize the use of public funds
to defray expenditure incurred for response and relief operation
in accordance with the Public finance act of Bhutan.

Budget for National Disaster Management Activities
82. there shall be a separate budget head to be called the budget for

national Disaster Management activities and it shall receive
adequate budgetary allocation.

83. The budget specified in section 82 of this Act shall be utilized
for immediate restoration of essential public infrastructure and
service centres.

84. The budget specified in section 82 of this Act shall be managed
and operated by the Department of Disaster Management

79.

80.

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82.

83.

secretariat of national Disaster Management authority

Budget for Department of Disaster Management
85. there shall be a separate budget head to be called the

Department of Disaster Management Budget.

86. the Department of Disaster Management Budget shall
comprise, among others, the following activities:

a) capacity building;
b) establishing and maintaining critical Disaster

Management facility including purchase of equipment;
and

c) any other activity as may be required to strengthen the
preparedness of the nation against disaster.

Recovery and Re-construction
87. the Dzongkhag Disaster Management committee shall, for

the purpose of recovery and reconstruction, undertake damage
assessment of public assets and infrastructure within its area of
responsibility at the earliest and submit the assessment along
with the work programme and cost estimate to the Department
of Disaster Management for review and onward submission to
national Disaster Management authority.

88. the national Disaster Management authority shall, for the
purpose of recovery and reconstruction under section 87 of this
act, make recommendation to the government for release of
fund to the sectors concerned.

Emergency Procurement
89. Where exigencies of the disaster situation demand, the

84.

/

85.

86.

:

87.

88.

national Disaster Management authority upon obtaining prior
approval from the Ministry of finance may, to ensure direct
and least time consuming method to procure good and service,
exempt specific supply of goods and service from the standard
procurement procedure specified in the Procurement Rules and
regulations.

Accounts and Audit
90. the agency concerned shall submit to the Ministry of finance

the accounts of the response and relief expenditure as per the
financial rules and regulations.

91. the royal audit authority shall be the auditor for all Disaster
Management expenditures.

Chapter 9
Classification of Disaster

Classification of Disaster

92. The classification of disaster is for the purpose of immediate
and effective response and relief measures.

93. A disaster shall be classified as Type I, if it:

can be managed with available resources and is within the

coping capacity of the gewog /thromde concerned.

94. A disaster shall be classified as Type II, if it:

can be managed with available resources and is within the

coping capacity of the Dzongkhag concerned.

95. A disaster shall be classified as Type III, if:

severity and magnitude is so great that it is beyond available

89.

90.

91.

92.

93.

/

94.

resources and the coping capacity of the Dzongkhag concerned;

Reclassification of Disaster
96. the national Disaster Management authority may reclassify

disaster types in accordance with rules and regulations framed
under this act.

Declaration of Disaster
97. the Druk gyalpo may, on the written advice of the Prime

Minister, proclaim type iii disaster in accordance with the
provisions of the constitution.

98. notwithstanding anything contained in section 97 of this
act, the Druk gyalpo may, on the written advice of the chief
advisor of the interim government, proclaim type iii disaster
for a period not exceeding 21 days on each occasion, if the
disaster occurs on or during the expiry of the term of the
national assembly or in the event of its dissolution.

99. the chairperson of the Dzongkhag Disaster Management
committee may, subject to approval of the national Disaster
Management authority, declare type i and ii disaster in
accordance with rules and regulations framed under this act.

Extension or disapproval
100. Parliament may extend or disapprove the continuance in force

of a proclaimation for type iii disaster.

101. notwithstanding anything contained in section 100 of this
act, the interim government may extend or disapprove the

95.

96.

97.

98.

99.

100.

continuance in force of a proclamation for type iii disaster, if
the disaster occurs on or during the expiry of the term of the
national assembly or in the event of its dissolution.

` Provided that the duration of the proclamation and extension
shall not extend beyond the tenure of the interim government.

102. the Dzongkhag Disaster Management committee may, subject
to approval of the national Disaster Management authority,
extend or disapprove a type i and ii disaster in accordance
with rules and regulations framed under this act.

Revocation
103. the Druk gyalpo on the written advice of the chief advisor

of the interim government may revoke the proclamation or
extension of the proclamation of type iii disaster.

104. the national Disaster Management authority may on the
recommendation of Dzongdag revoke the declaration or
extension of the declaration of type i and ii disaster.

Chapter 10
Critical Disaster Management Facility

Emergency Operation Centre

105. there shall be a national emergency operation centre
established by the Department of Disaster Management
including Dzongkhag emergency operation centres.

106. the Dzongkhag Disaster Management committees may
establish Dungkhag, gewog or thromde emergency operation
centre, if it considers necessary.

101.

102.

103.

104.

105.

106.

107. the national emergency operation centre shall supervise the
functioning of the Dzongkhag emergency operation centre.

Early Warning System

108. the national Disaster Management authority shall direct
relevant agencies to put in place early warning system as a
monitoring and advisory tool to identify hazard and notify all
vulnerable population and responding agencies of threatening
disaster situation or disaster.

109. the national Disaster Management authority shall institute
a system of alerts to determine the condition of disaster,
resources needed for response and relief operations and other
necessary requirements.

110. the national Disaster Management authority may authorize
the use of any audio or audio-visual media or such other means
of communication as may be available to carry any warning
or advisories regarding any threatening disaster situation or
disaster.

Emergency Medical Service

111. the Ministry of health shall put in place emergency medical
services throughout the country.

112. the Ministry of health shall be responsible for managing
emergency medical services during disaster.

Search and Rescue Team

113. there shall be a search & rescue team both at the national
and Local government level.

114. the Department of Disaster Management shall ensure that the
search & rescue team is well equipped and trained.

107.

108.

109.

110.

111.

112.

113.

Regulation of Critical Disaster Management Facility
115. the Department of Disaster Management shall frame rules

and regulations to determine the composition, organization,
operation and coordination of the critical Disaster Management
facility constituted under this act or such other critical Disaster
Management facility as may be constituted by an order of the
authority.

Chapter 11
Relief Assistance and Compensation

Relief Assistance

116. the Department of Disaster Management shall formulate the
minimum standards and procedures for relief assistance.

117. no person shall be discriminated on the ground of race, sex,
language, religion, politics or other status in relation to relief
assistance provided to the victims of disaster.

Compensation for use, loss and damage of property during relief
operation.

118. the Dzongkhag Disaster Management committee shall
ensure payment of compensation from the annual budget of
the Dzongkhag to persons or private entities whose property
is used, lost or damaged during relief, response and recovery
operation.

119. the compensation under section 118 of this act shall be paid
as per the guideline and standard formulated under this act.

120. compensation is not payable for loss or damage in the event that
an amount for the loss or damage is recovered or recoverable
under a policy of insurance.

114.

115.

116.

117.

118.

119.

Insurance Claims
121. the Dzongkhag Disaster Management committee concerned

shall liaise with the insurance company in expediting insurance
claims, where applicable.

122. the national Disaster Management authority shall ensure
transfer of risk by encouraging individual and business to
insure life and property against disaster, where practicable.

Grievance Redressal System

123. the national Disaster Management authority shall institute a
grievance redressal system to redress grievance of any person
affected during response and relief operation.

Chapter 12

Offences and Penalties

Impersonation of authorised person

124. a person who impersonates any authorized person under this
act shall, be liable for misdemeanor.

Obstruction

125. a person who obstructs any authorized person in the

120.

121.

122.

123.

124.

discharge of functions under this act shall, be guilty of

the offence of petty misdemeanor unless the person has a

reasonable excuse.

Non-Compliance
126. a person who fails to comply with the directives given under

this act shall, be guilty of the offence of petty misdemeanor
unless the person has a reasonable excuse.

Making False Claims
127. a person who makes false claims to obtain any relief

assistance or other benefits from a Dzongkhag Disaster
Management committee shall, on conviction, be liable for
petty misdemeanor.

Misappropriation
128. if a person entrusted with or having custody over any resources

under this act, misappropriates such resources, or any part
thereof, or willfully compels any other person to do so shall,
on conviction, be guilty of the offence of embezzlement under
the relevant laws of the kingdom.

False Alarm or Warning
129. a person who makes or circulates a false alarm or warning

as to a disaster or its severity or magnitude leading to panic
shall, on conviction, liable for petty misdemeanor.

Dereliction of Duty
130. An officer, on whom a responsibility has been entrusted under

this act, ceases or refuses to perform or withdraws from duty

125.

126.

127.

128.

129.

or office without a written permission of the supervisor or
does not have lawful reason to do so shall, on conviction, be
liable for petty misdemeanor.

Offences not specified under this Act
131. the national Disaster Management authority may, where

a particular offence is not covered under this act, impose
reasonable penalty not exceeding a fine of ninety days national
minimum wage.

Chapter 13
Miscellaneous

Isolated Local Incident
132. an isolated local incident is an incident, which does not have a

widespread effect on people and property and can be managed
within the normal operations of the agencies concerned, and
such incident shall not require emergency procurement and
funding.

Affirmative Action
133. Due care shall be taken to ensure that women are adequately

represented on Disaster Management committees established
under this act.

134. special care shall be taken of children, women, elderly persons
and persons with disability during rescue, response and relief
operations.

Participation of Civil Society Organization, Religious
Organization and Volunteer

135. the Department of Disaster Management shall encourage

130.

131.

132.

133.

134.

the participation of civil society organization, religious
organization and volunteer to support the government in its
disaster risk reduction and disaster management activities.

136. the Department of Disaster Management shall formulate
guideline for the participation of civil society organization,
religious organization and volunteer in disaster risk reduction
and disaster management activities.

Delegation
137. the chairpersons of the national Disaster Management

authority and Dzongkhag Disaster Management committee,
operation coordinator, gup and thrompon/thromde thuemi
may in writing delegate any of their function to any other
person, subject to such condition and limitation if any, as they
consider fit.

Protection from liability
138. a person performing a duty under the provisions of this act

shall not be liable for anything done or omitted to be done in
good faith and in the due course of duty. such immunity does
not cover corrupt acts committed by such persons.

Vacancy or defect in appointment not to invalidate act or
proceeding
139. no act or proceeding of the authorities created under this act

shall be invalid by reason only of the existence of any vacancy
amongst its members or any defect in the constitution thereof.

Power to make rules and regulations

140. the Department of Disaster Management may frame rules and
regulations from time to time to carry out the provisions of this
act.

135.

136.

137.

/

138.

139.

141. the concerned agencies shall maintain proper records of all
actions during and after a disaster. further all these information
shall be open to public access.

Amendment

142. the amendment of this act by way of addition, variation or
repeal shall be effected by a simple majority of the respective
houses or vote of no less than two thirds of the total members
of Parliament present and voting on a motion submitted by one
third of the members of either house.

Authoritative text

143. the Dzongkha text shall be the authoritative text, if there
exists any difference in meaning between the Dzongkha and
the english text.

Definition

144. in this act unless the context otherwise provides:

1) “Agency” means a Ministry, Dzongkhag administration,
Local government, autonomous organization and
government controlled company;

2) “Authority” means the national Disaster Management
authority;

3) “Capacity Building” means the identification, acquiring
and creating of resources – human, technical, financial,
institutional – for increased effectiveness in the disaster
management cycle;

4) “Casualties” includes both death and injury sustained;
5) “Committee” means the Dzongkhag Disaster Management

committee;
6) “Coping Capacity” means the ability of the people,

140.

141.

142.

143.

144. :

1) “”

2) “”
3) “”

4) “”

organization and system using available skills and resources
to manage a disaster;

7) “Critical Disaster Management Facility” means physical
structure, technical facility and system which are essential
in detecting and managing a disaster;

8) “Department” means the Department of Disaster
Management;

9) “Disaster” subject to section 132 of this act, means a natural
or man-made occurrence which causes environmental
loss, increased mortality, illness or injury, and destroys
or disrupts livelihoods, affecting the people or an area as
classified under Chapter 9 of this Act;

10) “Disaster Management” means a continuous and
integrated multi-sectoral process of planning, organizing,
coordinating and implementing measures aimed at:

a) Preventing and reducing disaster risk;
b) Mitigating severity of disaster;
c) capacity building;
d) emergency preparedness;
e) effective response to disaster;
f) effective search, rescue, evacuation and relief

operation; and
g) recovery and reconstruction activities.

11) “Disaster Management Strategic Policy Framework”
means a policy covering amongst other the following
principles:

5) “”
6) “”

7) “”

8) “”
9) “”

10) “”

a) Institutionalization of efficient, well-coordinated

and participatory Disaster Management as one of

the basic ingredients of good governance;

b) creation of an enabling environment for ensuring

greater participation of all stakeholders;

c) Promotion of a multi-hazard approach to disaster

management;

d) creation and strengthening physical infrastructure;

e) Promotion of a culture of prevention and

preparedness among individuals; and

f) strengthening transparency and accountability of

government by establishing strategic priorities to

guide the application of resources and reporting on

achievement.

12) “Disaster Risk Reduction” means the conceptual

framework of elements considered with the possibility to

minimize vulnerability and disaster risk throughout the

society and to avoid or to limit the adverse impact of hazard

within the broad context of sustainable development;

13) “Hazard” means a phenomenon, substance or a situation

that may adversely affect human life, property, activity or

the environment to the extent of causing a disaster;

14) “Hazard Zonation Map” means a map identifying a

high risk geographical area due to a potential hazard;

11) “”

:

12) “”

13) “”

15) “Mitigation” means a measure aimed at reducing risk,

impact or effect of a disaster or an impending disaster

situation;

16) “National Plan” means the national Disaster Management

and contingency Plan;

17) “International Non Governmental Organization”

means a civil society organization registered as a non-

governmental organization in a foreign country;

18) “Premises” means any land, house, part of the house or

other structures or any part thereof;

19) “Preparedness” means the state of readiness to deal with a

potential disaster situation or disaster and its effect thereof;

20) “Property” means both movable and immovable property

as defined in the Moveable and Immovable Property Act of

the Kingdom of Bhutan, 1999;

21) “Recovery and Reconstruction” means efforts including

development aimed at:

a) restoring normalcy in condition caused by disaster;

b) Mitigating the effect of disaster; or

c) creating circumstances that will reduce the risk of

similar disasters from occurring.
22) “Risk” means the level or value of expected losses in the

form of deaths, injuries, damage to property etc. caused by

14) “”

15) “”

16) “”

17) “”

18) “”

19) “”

20) “”

21) “ ”

:

a hazard;
23) “Response” means measures taken during or immediately

after a disaster in order to bring relief to people and
communities affected by the disaster and includes activities
such as search and rescue, evacuation, rapid assessment,
relief distribution among others;

24) “Resources” include human resources, equipment,
vehicles, other modes of transportation, funds and such
other material resources;

25) “structural measures” means physical construction to
reduce or avoid possible impacts of hazards or application
of techniques to achieve hazard resistance and resilience in
structures or systems;

26) “non-structural measures” means any measure not
involving physical construction that uses knowledge,
practice or agreement to reduce risk and impact;

27) “Vulnerability” means a condition resulting from physical,
social, economic, and environmental factors or processes
which increases the susceptibility of a community to the
impact of a hazard; and

28) “Vulnerability Map” means a map which provides a
precise location of sites where people, natural environment
or properties are at risk due to a potential hazard.

22) “”

23) “”

24) “”

25) “”

26) “”

27) “”

28) “”

~*~