Officials of the Factories Department from East Godavari district have come out with the first of its kind off-site emergency plan in the draft form at the end of their two-year long continuous exercise that includes a series of deliberations with their counterparts from the other departments and people from different walks of life. A mock drill to showcase the preparedness of the rescue teams has been scheduled for August 9 and necessary changes will be made to the draft plan based on its outcome.

The GAIL pipeline blast at Nagaram village that claimed 22 lives in June 2014 remained the first alert for the officials, which was followed by a couple of accidents, including ammonia leakage in a fertilizer unit and radiation in another industrial unit, have prompted them to swing into action to put in place a permanent system to combat exigencies.

“We have focussed on chalking out two types of emergency plans, on-site plan for the accidents taking place within the premises of an industrial unit and off-site plan to tackle the mishaps taking place in the public places,” says M.V. Sivakumar Reddi, Deputy Chief Inspector of Factories.

Sensitisation of the managements and making them observe safety weeks and conducting mock drill without fail formed major part of the on-site plan, whereas for finalising the draft plan crisis groups have been formed and a series of meetings convened with the cross section.

High-risk areas

“The off-site plan is mandatory for a district that is housing 21 hazardous industries and pipeline network of natural gas. Since the mishap can take place anywhere, we have decided to involve the cross section,” he explains.

The mock drill scheduled for August 9, Mr. Reddi says, is going to be the first of its kind in the country as it covers the accidents in ammonia manufacturing unit, oil tanker blast and a gas pipeline leak at one go. “The outcome will surely help us modifying the draft plan. The final plan will be circulated to all the stakeholders.”

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