Dakshina Kannada district administration conducted an off-site emergency mock drill at Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals Ltd (MRPL) on Tuesday.

The mock drill was organised as part of the Chemical Disaster Prevention Day to check the preparedness of the workers, the general public and the district administration to emergencies.

The mock drill was also an attempt to check whether infrastructure facilities owned by the state is adequate to cater to the needs during the course of emergency in terms of facilities for communication, transportation, medical treatment, rescue, reconstruction and rehabilitation.

The emergency mock drill began by simulating a fire mishap at one of the crude oil storage tanks of MRPL.

The preparedness and response factors of various other agencies were put into test in the 90-minute drill. Following this, a review meeting of the observers and all those involved in the mock drill was held. The meeting discussed some of the lapses that occurred during the 90-minute period.

H..S. Varadarajan, Chief Fire Officer, Karnataka Fire Department, Mangalore, said that a weak railway over-bridge on national highway leading to the site could be one of the bottlenecks for rushing fire tenders from the city. (The poor condition of the over-bridge causes traffic jams on the highway sometimes).

Lack of active participation from some of the participating agencies was also discussed in the review meet. Dayanand, Additional Deputy Commissioner of Dakshina Kannada district, who oversaw the mock drill operations, said that this will be brought to the notice of the heads of the departments concerned.

vinayak.aj@thehindu.co.in

(This article was published on December 4, 2012)
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