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Management Of Chemical Disaster

There has been a paradigm shift in the Government’s focus from its rescue, relief and restoration-centric approach to a planning, prevention/ mitigation and preparedness approach. It has been realized that effective Chemical Disaster Management (CDM) is possible by the adoption of preventive and mitigation strategies as most chemical disasters are preventable in comparison to natural disasters that are difficult to predict and prevent. There are large quantities of chemicals are stored/ processed in industries that are located in densely populated areas. Inappropriate and haphazard construction and the lack of awareness and preparedness on the part of the community further enhance their vulnerability.

 

Sources Of Chemical Disaster

Chemical accidents may originate in:

a.Manufacturing and formulation installations including during commissioning and process operations; maintenance and disposal.

b. Material handling and storage in manufacturing facilities, and isolated storages; warehouses and godowns including tank farms in ports and docks and fuel depots.

c. Transportation (road, rail, air, water and pipelines).

Causative factors leading to Chemical Disasters are:

i. Fire.

ii. Explosion.

iii. Toxic release.

iv. Poisoning.

v. Combinations of the above.

Management of Chemical Disasters:

Enforcement and monitoring of chemical safety and emergency Management involves various central/state ministries/departments viz. MHA, MoEF, MoLE, MoA, MoP & NG, MoC & F, MoSRT & H, MoC & I, DEA, MoF etc. The MoLE, MoEF and MoSRT & H are responsible for enacting regulations.

At State Level

At the State level, the State Crisis Group (SCG) under the Chairmanship of Chief Secretary will be the apex body to deal with major chemical accidents and to provide expert guidance for handling them along with the line departments viz; Forest & Environment, Industries & Mines, Home, Police, Health & Family Welfare, PHE & WS etc.

At District Level

At the District level, the District Crisis Group (DCG) under the Chairmanship of Deputy Commissioner will be the apex body to deal with major chemical accidents and to provide expert guidance for handling them. All the line Departments will assist the DCG.