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Minister for periodic safety audit in industry

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STRESS ON PREPAREDNESS: M. Rafeeque Ahmed, chairman, FICCI Tamil Nadu State Council; I. Periasami, Housing and Revenue Minister; Bhardwaj, Member, National Disaster Management Authority; and P. Murari, advisor to the FICCI president, at the conference in Chennai on Thursday.
STRESS ON PREPAREDNESS: M. Rafeeque Ahmed, chairman, FICCI Tamil Nadu State Council; I. Periasami, Housing and Revenue Minister; Bhardwaj, Member, National Disaster Management Authority; and P. Murari, advisor to the FICCI president, at the conference in Chennai on Thursday.

Special Correspondent

Says State will develop a comprehensive disaster management plan in consultation with all stakeholders

Industrial units urged to identify likely chemical hazards and prepare emergency plans

A copy of NDMA Guidelines on Chemical Disasters and a CD on medical preparedness released

CHENNAI: Tamil Nadu must develop a culture of conducting periodic safety and environment audit in the industrial sector, Revenue and Housing Minister I. Periasami said here on Thursday.

Addressing a conference organised by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) and the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), he said the State would develop an effective and comprehensive disaster management plan in consultation with all stakeholders and based on guidelines issued by the NDMA.

Complimenting the NDMA for coming out with a comprehensive policy document addressing the complex issues of disaster management, Mr. Periasami said it was the responsibility of all industrial units to identify likely chemical hazards from their functioning and prepare on and off-site emergency plans.

He assured NDMA officials that they would not find Tamil Nadu wanting in efforts to implement the guidelines within a time frame.

Earlier, he released a copy of the NDMA Guidelines on Chemical Disasters and a CD on Medical Preparedness and Mass Casualty Management.

J.R. Bhardwaj, member, NDMA, explained the salient features of the guidelines and the exhaustive process through which they were formulated. He called for developing infrastructure and manpower capacity to spring to action in case of a disaster, and inter-sectoral linkages for proper implementation of disaster management strategies. He said the guidelines were drawn up after the safety aspects in industries were studied and lacunae evaluated. The aim should be to reduce or minimise the impact of any disaster in an industrial setting.

Mr. Bhardwaj expressed happiness at the State government’s offer to support the NDMA in an international seminar on chemical industries to be conducted held in Delhi in February next year.

Fail-safe measures

Labour Secretary R.K. Khanna urged the participants to be more pro-active in providing fail-safe measures for preparedness and prevention of chemical accidents in their factories. Industries would be required to be fully prepared for incidents so that the damage, not only to workforce but also to the environment and the community, was negligible.

Alop K. Mittal, advisor, FICCI, said the model to be followed would be a public-private partnership. The FICCI had played a proactive role, organising more than 20 national and international conferences to sensitise the industries and conduct mock drills.

Rafeeque Ahmed, chairman, FICCI Tamil Nadu State Council, called for coordination between State and district authorities in emergency operations.

Earlier, P.Murari, advisor to the FICCI president, urged the participants to take advantage of the training provided to further improve their operations so as to avoid chemical accidents.

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