‘Land yet to be identified to raise State Disaster Reduction Force sanctioned’

Issues concerning safety of general public in the event of disasters, including possible leakage of chlorine in Thumbe, stationing an empty LPG tanker on National Highway 48 and difficulty in reaching impregnable railroads in the event of accidents were raised at the district coordination committee on disaster management meeting here on Thursday.

The Department of Factories, Boilers, Industrial Safety and Health pointed out that the Mangalore City Corporation stored about 900 kg of chlorine for treating Nethravathi water at Thumbe. Department Deputy Director Nanjappa told the meeting that though MCC was asked to station personnel to ensure safety, the same was not followed. He said over 10 people had taken ill following leakage of about 50 kg chlorine in Bantwal last year. If similar incident happens at Thumbe, the entire village would be affected.

Promise unfulfilled

Chief Fire Officer, Mangalore, H.S. Varadarajan informed that the Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd., (HPCL) was yet to act on his Department’s recommendation to station an empty LPG tanker on NH 48 in the event of any mishap. Recently there were two mishaps involving bullet LPG tankers and the department had to struggle to empty the tankers. At the same time, HPCL was yet to reimburse the cost incurred by the Department for undertaking relief operations during the accidents, he said.

In another representation, Mr. Varadarajan said most of the railroads passing through the district were not reachable by road. In the event of accidents, it would be difficult for the rescue teams to reach the spot, he said.

Zilla Panchayat Chief Executive Officer Thulasi Maddineni chaired the meeting in the absence of Deputy Commissioner A.B. Ibrahim, who was away on an official meting in Bangalore. She said the administration would ensure that the agencies concerned would implement adequate safety norms.

On Mr. Varadarajan’s submission that the department is in need of land to raise a unit of the State Disaster Reduction Force, Ms. Maddineni directed the officials to set apart 10 acres of land at Yekkar near Kateel.

The fire officer said the government had recently sanctioned the Force, which remains alert all the time to attend to mishaps. The district has many hazardous industries, including chemical, oil refinery etc., and hence the Force with 150 personnel, he said. Ms. Maddineni also directed the concerned to remove obsolete vehicles and ambulances unauthorisedly parked on Railway Station Road abutting the Government Wenlock Hospital following an appeal by district surgeon Rajeshwari.

She also directed the officials to be alert to face any disaster and asked all the industries to furnish the details of their nodal officers to the administration by June 30. Additional DC Sadashiva Prabhu and others were present.

*MCC stores about 900 kgs of chlorine at Thumbe without sufficient safety measures

*HPCL is yet to station an empty LPG tanker near Shiradi Ghat to empty bullet tankers in the event of accidents

*Major length of railroads in the district are impregnable; difficult for rescue teams to reach accident spots

*District administration directs agencies concerned to adhere to safety norms

*10 acres of land directed to be given to Fire and Emergency Services Department to raise a unit of State Disaster Reduction Force

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