AT 10.30 am on Wednesday, the Tricity — Chandigarh, Panchkula and Mohali — and Shimla will experience an “earthquake” at 15 different locations each. No, this is not a prediction but a piece of information about a mock exercise that will be conducted to check the preparedness of various agencies, including police and fire department, to tackle such a situation in reality.
After almost over year-long preparations, D-day has come when a project, ‘’Mw 8, Mandi Earthquake Scenario: Multi-State Exercise and Awareness Campaign’’, conceived by the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) in December 2011 will finally be implemented.
A siren will be blown for a minute at 10.30 am, and officials from key departments like police, fire and emergency services, medical services, ambulance services, municipal corporation, revenue department, PWD, electricity, water and communication will be on their feet. Home Guards, civil defence volunteers, and members of NGOs will also take part.
A scenario of destruction, loss of life and injured will be indicated by the observers for the exercise. The observers at different locations will also simulate related situations like disruption of services at some places. At all the 15 sites, batches of 15 policemen will be available depending on the situation thus created.
“The general public is only requested to cooperate during the entire exercise. There is no need to panic. The earmarked buildings and locations will be evacuated depending on the situation which will be simulated tomorrow,” said V K Duggal, an NDMA official.
Independent observers from Army will audit the exercise as a third party. The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) will deploy 30 teams from Bathinda, Gaziabad and Gandhinagar Battalions. The exercise will unfold like a real-life earthquake scenario with gradual response from the local community, the district and state and even Central forces coming to the aid of authorities of four states
and UT. Wireless mode of communication to assess the response in major areas, communication and provision of medical aid will also be assessed.
This multi-state project is the first major initiative to conduct a state-level disaster management programme using scientifically developed disaster scenarios in the country. The scenario region covers the states of Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Union Territory of Chandigarh.
The approximate expenses involved in the exercise in the region is about Rs 30 lakh.
Location of disaster sites
1. Deluxe Building, UT Secretariat, Sector 9
2. Plaza near Neelam Theatre, Sector 17
4. Railway Station
5. ISBT, Sector 43
6. Govt Senior Secondary Model School, Sector 35
7. Govt College for Girls, Sector 42 (Near Hockey Stadium)
8. Chandigarh Housing Board flats, Sector 51
9. DT Mall, DLF Building, IT Park
10. Punjab Engineering College, Sector 12
11. Panjab University Students’ Centre, Sector 14
12. Khandalia Oil and General Mill Pvt Ltd, plot no. 23, Phase II, Industrial Area
13. Hotel Mount View, Sector 10
14. Govt Multi-Speciality Hospital & College, Block D, Sector 16
15. Ordnance Cable Factory Phase 1, Industrial Area
1. Mini-Secretariat, Sector 1
2. Government College, Sector 1
3. K C Hotel, Sector 3
4. Bus Stand, Sector 5
5. Nada Sahib Gurdwara
6. General Hospital, Sector 6
7. Market area, Sector 7
8. Dhawan Hospital, Sector 7
9. Saket Hospital Sector 1
10. Bharat Electronic Limited, Industrial Area, Phase 2
11. Jeevan Chaya Housing Society, Sector 20
12. Government College, Sector 14
13. Alchemist Hospital, Sector 21
14. Police Headquarters, Sector 6
15 Amartex Industries Ltd, Industrial Area, Phase I
1. Amartex Mall, Phase 1
2. Civil Hospital, Phase 6
3. Bassi Theatre, Phase 2
4. Hotel Franco, Phase 1
5. Railway Station
6. Bus Stand, Phase 8
7. Phillips Electronics India Ltd, Industrial Focal Point, Ph 9
8. Ivory Tower Complex (residential area), Sector 70
9. Forest Complex (office complex), Sector 68
10. MC Bhawan (office complex), Sector 68
11. Chawla Petrol Pump, Sector 61
12. Foot Overbridge, Phase 3B2
13. Baddh Majra near
14. Balongi Barrier, Main Road
15. Market-cum-parking area, Phase 5