The Public Liability Insurance (PLI) Act and Rules and Amendment

It was drawn up to provide for public liability insurance for the purpose of providing immediate relief to the persons affected by accident while handling any hazardous substance.
Where death or injury to any person (other than a workman) or damage to any property has resulted from an accident and provision of relief are as:

  • Reimbursement of medical expenses incurred up to a maximum of Rs. 12,500 in each case.
  • For fatal accidents the relief will be Rs. 25,000 per person in addition to reimbursement of medical expenses if any, incurred on the victim up to a maximum of Rs. 12,500.
  • For permanent total or permanent partial disability or other injury or sickness, the relief will be (a) reimbursement of medical expenses incurred, if any, up to a maximum of Rs. 12,500 in each case and (b) cash relief on the basis of percentage of disablement as certified by an authorised physician. The relief for total permanent disability will be Rs. 25,000.
  • For loss of wages due to temporary partial disability which reduces the earning capacity of the victim, there will be a fixed monthly relief not exceeding Rs. 1,000 per month up to a maximum of 3 months: provided the victim has been hospitalised for a period of exceeding 3 days and is above 16 years of age.
  • Up to Rs. 6,000 depending on the actual damage, for any damage to private property.

Powers of Collector

The Collector may follow such summary procedure for conducting an inquiry on an application for relief under the Act, as he thinks fit. The Collector shall have all the powers of a Civil Court for the following purposes namely:

  • summoning and enforcing the attendance of any person and examining him on oath.
  • requiring the discovery and production of documents; receiving evidence on affidavits;
  • subject to the provisions of sections 123 and 124 of the Indian Evidence Act, 1872, requisitioning any public record or document or copy of such record or document from any office;
  • issuing commissions for the examining of witness or documents; dismissing an application for default or proceeding ex-parte;
  • setting aside any order of dismissal of any application for default or any order passed by it ex-parte;
  • inherent powers of a civil court as-served under section 151 of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908.

Establishment and Administration of Fund

Extent of Liability

  • Subject to the provision of sub-section (2A) of section 4 of the Act, the maximum aggregate liability of the insurer to pay relief under an award to the several claimants arising out of an accident shall not exceed rupees five crores and in case of more than one accident during the currency of the policy or one year, whichever is less, shall not exceed rupees fifteen crores in the aggregate.
  • In awarding relief under the Act, the Collector shall ensure that the insurer's maximum liability under the Insurance Policy does not exceed the limits stipulated in sub-rule (1). Application format is given in appendix 5.

In addition to this the "Where a major accident occurs on a site or in a pipe line, the occupier shall [within 48 hours notify] the concerned authority as identified in Table -3 of that accident, and furnish thereafter to the concerned authority.

District Collectors are advised to study all the relevant acts and rules as soon as possible to understand the Chemical (industrial) disaster management issues.

National Disaster Response Force (NDRF)

For the purpose of specialised response to a threatening disaster situation or disasters/emergencies both natural and man-made such as those of CBRN origin, the DM Act, 2005 has mandated the constitution of a NDRF. The general superintendence, direction and control of this force is vested in and exercised by the NDMA and the command and supervision of the Force will vest in an officer to be appointed by the Central Government as the Director General of NDRF. Presently, the NDRF comprises eight battalions. Two additional battalions have been sanctioned by the Government and are in the process of being formed. These battalions are located at strategic locations and will be deployed proactively as required. NDRF units will maintain close liaison with the designated State Governments/ UTs and will be available to them in the event of any serious threatening disaster situation.

While the handling of all natural disasters rests with all the NDRF battalions, presently four of them have been equipped and trained to respond to situations arising out of CBRN emergencies. In future plans exist to train rest of the battalions also for CBRN response. The NDRF units will also impart basic training to all the stakeholders identified by the State Governments in their respective locations. Further, a National Academy will be set up to provide training for trainers in DM and to meet related national and international commitments. Presently the location and area of responsibility of the various NDRF battalions in the country are as follows:

State Disaster Response Force (SDRF)

States have to create response capabilities from within their existing resources. Each State may aim at equipping and training a few companies in smaller states or one battalion equivalent force in the case of bigger states. They will also include women members for looking after the needs of women and children. NDRF battalions and their training institutions will assist the States/UTsin this effort.

Emergency Operations Centre (EOC)

EOC is an off-site facility and is a combination of various line departments of Government and other agencies whose services are generally required during incident response. These officials will be able to take decisions on the spot under the guidance of Responsible Officer (RO) and will be able to assist the RO in achieving the incident objectives. The EOC takes stock of the emerging situation and assist the RO in mobilising the respective line department's resources, with appropriate delegated authorities. It is today's need that each district and state should have EOC with all needed information and should be modern.


EOC should have:

  1. One Sr. Administrative Officer as EOC in-charge having experience in disaster management (DM) with required assistants;
  2. Representation of all concerned line departments with authority to quickly mobilise their resources;
  3. Adequate space with proper infrastructure to accommodate the participating agencies and departments;
  4. Communication facilities with last mile connectivity;
  5. A vehicle mounted with HF, VHF and satellite telephone for deployment in the affected site to provide immediate connectivity with the headquarters and ICP;
  6. A representative of central teams (NDRF, Armed Forces) whenever they are deployed to integrate their resources, expertise and to resolve conflicts that may arise during the response effort;
  7. Provision and plan for dovetailing the NDRF, Armed Forces communication capabilities with the local communication set up. There will be proper plan so that all are able to connect with each other in case of large scale disasters or failure of the local communication systems;
  8. Map depicting affected site, resources deployed, facilities established like Incident Command Post, Staging Area, Incident Base, Camp, Relief Camp, Helibase, Helipad, etc. along with following should be in EOC:
  • DM plans of all line departments;
  • DM plans of the State and the District;
  • Directories with contact details of all emergency services and nodal officers;
  • Connectivity with all District headquarters and police stations;
  • Database of NGOs working in different geographical areas;
  • Demographic details of the State and Districts;
  1. National Disaster Management Guidelines: Incident Response System
  2. Socio-economic, demographic and land use planning;
  3. Resource inventories of all line departments and connectivity with database of India Disaster Resource Network (IDRN) India Disaster Knowledge Network (IDKN) and Corporate Disaster Resource Network (CDRN);

Indian Response System

Management of every incident needs an action plan and proper briefing of all personnel. The purpose of the action plan and briefing is to provide all concerned personnel with appropriate directions for the various tasks in hand. Before taking up response activities the District Collector need to take stock of the situation, availability and mobilisation of resources for listing out the various tasks and to provide proper briefing to the responders.

For this, he will need to hold a proper briefing meeting at the beginning of each operational period. At the end of the operational period, a debriefing meeting is equally important where he will be able to again review whether the objectives were achieved or not and then decide what further steps need to be taken in the next operational period. Both the briefing and debriefing meetings are the basis on which the IAP (incident action plan) will be prepared and tasks assigned. For the convenience of DC he should consult the National Disaster Management Guidelines -Incident Response System now been released and therefore response mechanism should be followed accordingly. Fig-3 shows the steps for actions for response in an event of disaster.



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