Key Words : Hazardous chemicals, Industrial accidents, Buffer zones, Routing.

Chemicals are inseparable part of human life and play a vital role in the present time in day-today functions. Although they are very useful but owing to their hazardous characteristics they pose a catastrophic threat to the mankind and the environment and hence the management of chemicals has attracted attention internationally.

Industries   are the prime users and manufactures of chemicals and therefore carry a possibility of accident ranging from small degree to devastating one depending on the quantum and nature of chemicals. Such accidents can affect the surroundings badly and hence need has been felt to counter these emerging challenges for minimizing the risk.

Bhopal, the capital of Madhya Pradesh State in India has number of industrial pockets in and around including one Govindpura industrial area which is located at north-east of town at 77027’18” E and 23015’37” N. With the development and spatial expansion of city the Govindpura industrial area, which was earlier at the outskirts, has come very well within the city and can affect the surroundings greatly if accident occurs. This has led to select this area for the present study.

GIS provides a mechanism to centralize and visually display critical information during an emergency. Most of the data for emergency management are of spatial nature which is very well taken care by GIS tools. In this study GIS has been used as a tool for planning prevention, preparedness  and response at the time of chemical mishap and also to assess the impact zone at any of the industrial units located in the candidate area. The data used in the study includes location of industries, details of chemicals handled, properties of chemicals, location of important settlements like hospitals, academic institutions, residential area, religious places, commercial area, road network etc that are likely to the affected due to  chemical accident.

Using GIS tools, buffer zones have been created around the industries to draw the sphere of influence depending on the quantum and nature of particular chemical. The outcome of study also indicates the extend of migration of chemicals from accident site. The project outcome, in the form of thematic maps, will be useful for decision support and will serve as an important tool for administration and emergency personnel while handling the crises situation. Using these thematic maps the people can be evacuated from the accident site and shifted to the safer locations. Evacuation routes have also been selected through GIS. The shorterst convenient routes and alternate routes, which are essential for saving time, have also been worked out to help emergency authorities to rush at the accident site in the minimum possible time and ensure passage for other relief operations.

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Since : Sep-2011

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