The National Disaster Management Authority along with Ministry of Environment and Forests and Central and State pollution boards are now focussing on pharmaceuticals sector, hazardous materials and petroleum and natural gas installations and pipelines focussing on their safe management and audit.

At the FICCI event on Best Practices for Disaster Management in Chemical and Petrochemical Industry here today, Muzaffar Ahmed, member of the national authority, said Ministry of Environment has been promoting prevention, preparedness and management of chemical accidents.

The Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Authority is overseeing the monitoring of safety in the petroleum and natural gas sector as well as transportation through tankers and pipelines. The transportation of petroleum products is projected to grow exponentially needing focus on safety conformations.

Pharmaceutical industries have also been chosen for thrust and issues relating to hazardous chemicals with innocuous chemicals, regulatory clearances in gas sector, hazard analysis and risk reduction. Isolated storages need to be monitored closely as the disposal from them could have a chain reaction in local areas, he felt.

S. Krishnan, Chairman of Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board, said disaster management is vital in energy sector to prevent crisis and reduce damage to installations and people. To handle such a huge task, the regulator has empanelled additional third party agencies.

As the pharmaceutical industry is sub-sector of chemical industry, integrated development is vital for safety in manufacturing and formulation process.

Hazard evaluation is essential in pharmaceutical industry because over 500 industrial organic chemicals are derived from nearly 400 processes. They need to conduct hazard mitigation audit.

The petroleum sector needs both onsite and offsite management and synchronisation of management of both to ensure safety, experts at the meet felt.

rishikumar.vundi@thehindu.co.in

(This article was published on November 26, 2012)
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