Gujarat has one of the highest concentration of chemical industries in the country

Express News ServiceVadodara, August 12: The Gujarat State Disaster Management Authority admitted that it has no chemical disaster management plan presently. GSDMA was replying to an Right to Information (RTI) Act application filed by a Vadodara-based environmental activist. In a written reply to the application filed by environment activist Rohit Prajapati and others, GSDMA also said that it has no separate plan for a chemical industrial disaster, especially during monsoon in the state. It, however, maintained that a chemical emergency plan is currently under consideration.

Gujarat, especially the region from Vatva to Vapi — also known as the Golden Corridor — has one of the highest concentrations of chemical industries in the country.

In the reply, GSDMA had also stated that an earthquake management plan has been prepared, but it is only available in English. However, details of contingency plans for cyclone and floods are available in Gujarati.

Prajapati belongs to an organisation called Paryavaran Suraksha Samiti. He has been long fighting for a chemical industrial disaster plan, more so in monsoons. There have been several instances of chemical wastes being dumped, leading to contamination of water and land resources.

“It is particularly dangerous during the rainy season. If there is no specific disaster plan ready, it is like playing with the lives of all those living around the industrial area,” Prajapati said.

GSMDA, however, maintained that it has provided emergency equipments to fire brigades to control chemical and fire hazards in Ahmedabad, Vadoadra, Surat, Rajkot, Surat, Jamnagar and Bahvnagar. But the authority is silent on emergency plans for places like Ankleshwar and Vapi, which have higher concentration of chemical industries.
GSDMA also admitted that it has not employed any trained doctor, who can handle chemical-related health problems. Incidentally, in the list of its appointees — ministers and bureaucrats, and not those who specialise in disaster management — dominate GSDMA.

No chemical disaster plan in state