Chief Minister V. S. Achuthanandan will inaugurate a Chemical Emergency Response Centre (CHEMREC) at Kakkanad on Monday at 3.30 p.m.

Labour Minister P .K. Gurudasan will preside. He will also inaugurate the model office of the Joint Director of Factories and Boilers Department. Union Minister of State for Agriculture K.V. Thomas and Fisheries Minister S. Sarma will be the guests.

P. Rajeev, MP, MLAs K. Babu, A.M. Yousuf, and M.M. Monayee, district panchayat president P.S. Shyla, District Collector M. Beena will also be present.

CHEMREC has been set up by the Factories and Boilers Department in association with the Industries Department.

The facility is aimed at bringing down the risk and resultant consequences of chemical emergencies in the district.

The State government had allotted about 20 cents of land free of cost and Rs. 1.40 crore towards the construction of the building, K. Sasi, director, Factories and Boilers Department, told a press conference here on Friday.

Besides, the Ministry of Environment and Forest had sanctioned Rs. 60 lakh, of which Rs. 30 lakh had been received, for purchase of equipment. The centre will have staff strength of 25.

It would be run by a society registered under the Charitable Societies Act. District Collector will be the chairman of the society while Director of the Factories and Boilers Department will be the vice-chairman and Joint Director its secretary.

Equipped with latest communication network and hotline connection with major industrial units, it will have a full-fledged control room that will function round-the-clock. The centre will have facilities for field monitoring of chemical spills and release into the environment which would help predicting the behaviour of emergencies and giving awareness to the public.

The centre will soon add to its repertoire an emergency response vehicle equipped with instruments like leak sealing materials, spill containment and control items, operation tools, pneumatic lifting and sealing pads and carbon dioxide leak sealing pads. As and when needed, the vehicle will be fitted with chlorine and ammonia fighting emergency kits.

Though based in Ernakulam, its services would be made available across the State.

The functioning of the centre would not be restricted to chemical emergencies alone but cover all emergencies related to road transport.