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NDMA conducts mock drill at BPCL LPG plant

Staff Reporter

— Photo: M. Periasamy.

CHECKING PREPAREDNESS: District Collector V. Palanikumar (left), Honarary Member of National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) J.R. Bharadwaj (centre), and Senior Specialist Brigadier B.K. Khanna (right), at the Bharat Petroleum Corporation LPG refilling plant , Coimbatore, on Wednesday for the mock drill on disaster management.

Coimbatore: A mock disaster scene was enacted at the Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) refilling plant of the Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL) at Coimbatore on Wednesday.

This was part of the efforts of the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) to equip the administration and all departments concerned to be in a state of readiness to handle contingencies and to ensure that the machinery remained rescue oriented and not relief oriented.

A scene of gas leakage resulting in fire was staged at the BPCL plant. The mock drill was attended by Brigadier B.K. Khanna, Senior Specialist (Training and Capacity Development), Lt.Gen.J.R. Bharadwaj, Member of the NDMA, District Collector, V.Palanikumar, Deputy Director of Fire and Rescue Services, Western Region, Balsamy, Dean of the Coimbatore Medical College Hospital (incharge), V. Kumaran, Chief Inspector of Factories, S. Elangovan, Joint Chief Inspector of Factories, S. Raghunathan, Deputy Inspector of Factories, S. Ismail and senior officials of the BPCL. The BPCL plant has 300 workers for refilling about 3,000 LPG cylinders everyday.

The NDMA officials said that the impact of a fire accident at an LPG plant could be in a radius of one to five km. They said that the victims should be rushed to hospitals within 60 minutes for emergency medical aid. Rescue and relief on time could save the number of deaths, they added.

Objective

The objective of the exercise was to check the preparedness of the machinery in reacting to an emergency or disaster situation and to identify the weak or gaps in the response system and to address them.

Later briefing press persons on the mock drill, Mr.Bharadwaj and Mr.Khanna said that NDMA was preparing Disaster Management Plans for all types of natural and man made disasters.

The plans will take a final shape in two years after identifying the weaknesses and gaps through mock drills. Ensuring preparedness of the departments and the machinery was paramount for Coimbatore since it fell under Zone III of the seismic activity making the region vulnerable to earth quakes.

Through such mock drills and continuous training the efficiency and preparedness of the machinery could be fine tuned.

The officials also said that private hospitals were doing well and are well equipped in Coimbatore and the hospitals were being sensitised on the need for instantly admitting patients and rendering treatment to them in the event of a disaster.

The officials also appreciated the swiftness with which the medical teams and the Fire and Rescue Services reacted to the situation.

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