Background Information

The accident prevention, preparedness and mitigation has always been an area of grave concern to one and all and to work on these lines the Ministry of Environment & Forests (MoEF), Govt. of India (GoI) has set up a Central Crisis Group Alert System with a Central Crisis Group positioned at New Delhi. On the same lines the GoI sanctioned for the setting up of Emergency Response Centre (ERC) in four States, viz. One each at Thane Belarpur (M.S.) Manali (T.N.), Vadodara (Gujarat) and Bhopal (M.P.) and these are in operation since 1993.

These centres were set up on a mutual cost sharing basis (equity participation) with 40%from the Central Government, 40% from the State and 20% from the beneficiary units in the beginning and later to be run by the State Govt. and the Industries. In Madhya Pradesh the Centre has been set up at Bhopal and the M.P. Pollution Control Board has been entrusted with the responsibilities to look after its objectives to fulfill the aims. The E.R.C. in the State is successfully operating with the active participation of industrial units and keen interest shown by them.

Basic Elements of ERC

(i)Incident Reporting : It includes awareness programmes through education of members of the public, drivers of the vehicles and the mobile police force so that there is smooth information flow to the E.R.C.

(ii)Information Search : The ERC with its computer facilities an advanced features would be able to quickly retrieve information relevant to the accident and make it quickly available to the authorities. There is also provision of a library, with relevant books, to search the information manually.

(iii)Field Assistance : Under this an emergency response van containing equipment and personnel would be available round the clock which could penetrate the contaminated area, maintain link and information flow and provide information regarding antidotes.

The Centre, though providing technical inputs and expertise, will not involve in direct physical tackling of a chemical emergency.

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Since : Sep-2011

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