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Meet discusses chemical disaster preparedness

india Updated: Sep 08, 2006 14:53 IST

A TWO-DAY workshop on formulation of the National Disaster Management Guidelines for Chemical Disasters (NDMG-CD) being organised by the Disaster Management Institute (DMI) under aegis of the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) commenced at Hotel Lake View Ashoka here today. NDMA Vice-Chairman General N C Vij and members P Jyoti Rao, Lt Gen J R Bharadwaj and P K Mishra graced the proceedings.

Principal Secretary of the State Housing and Environment Department, P D Meena and Executive Director of the DMI, Dipti Gaur Mukherjee were also present on the occasion.

About 100 controllers (explosives), senior officials of safety and industrial health and senior officials of the State Pollution Control Boards and experts of the Chemical and Industrial Disaster Management units are taking part in the workshop.

In his address, NDMA member Dr Bharadwaj said that presently only about 150 out of 1,700 hazardous industries have offline emergency management plans, and this indicates the huge gap in preparedness for chemical disaster management.  He said that keeping this in view, the NDMG-CD has been finalised after detailed discussions with various related agencies, and during this workshop views of hazardous industries would be sought before giving final shape to guidelines.

In his presidential address, Gen Vij said while one gets enough time to respond to natural disasters there is little time in case of man-made disasters. In case of chemical disasters the first hour is of critical importance.

Speaking of the steps being taken by NDMA, he said eight battalions are being raised for response to disasters, and of these four battalions would specifically work for man-made disasters.

These battalions would be posted at Chandigarh, Patna, Gandhinagar, Nagpur, Pune, Noida, Orissa, Kolkata, Guwahati and Chennai. Stressing on the need of mock drills for disaster management, he said that soon a mock drill would be conducted in one of the industrial estates of Madhya Pradesh in association with DMI.

Earlier, Dipti Gaur Mukherjee spoke about the role of DMI in natural and man-made disaster management. Director of the Industrial Disaster Management Unit, Dr Rakesh Dubey proposed the vote of thanks.

General NC Vij calls on CM
EX-CHIEF of Army Staff and vice chairman of the National Disaster Management Authority General NC Vij called on Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan here today. According to an official release, the Chief Minister apprised General Vij of measures taken in Madhya Pradesh with regard to disaster management.