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India not prepared to fight chemical terror

PTI  New Delhi, August 04, 2009
First Published: 20:22 IST(4/8/2009) | Last Updated: 20:27 IST(4/8/2009)

There are gaps in India's preparedness to contain chemical terror attacks including early warning, environment monitoring and infrastructure, the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) has warned.


"There are gaps in the risk management framework including risk and vulnerability assessment, surveillance mechanism, intelligence gathering and environment monitoring, detection, characterisation, early warning systems, and safety and security or chemical agents," NDMA said it in its Management of Chemical (Terrorism) Disasters guidelines released in New Delhi on Tuesday.

"Existing gaps in capacity development -- especially human resources, knowledge management, infrastructural development, and their functional integration have been identified," the 132-page guidelines said.

Gaps in education and training at various levels of first responders and other emergency functionaries have also come out of a two-year study carried out by a specialist group headed by Lt Gen (retired) A R Bhardwaj.

Stressing on the need to develop a mechanism to monitor and perform regulatory checks of stocks as well as transportation of chemicals, the guidelines said there was an inherent potential that the chemicals would act as tools for terrorist activities.

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