Disasters threaten sustainable economic development worldwide. In
the past twenty years, earthquakes, floods, tropical storms, droughts
and other calamities have killed around three million people, inflicted
injury, disease, homelessness, and misery on one billion others, and caused
damage worth millions of rupees. Disasters destroy decades of human effort
and investments, thereby placing new demands on society for reconstruction
Some of the major disasters that have occurred so far in this decade
are as follows:
estimate (million US $)
Cyclone and Flash Flood
Earthquake / Tsunami
hundreds of millions
Earthquake / Mudslide
Papua New Guinea
Source : United Nations, Department of Humanitarian Affairs
In a nutshell, the major natural disasters for the period 1960-1996 are
The member states of the United Nations General Assembly declared
the 90sas the International Decade for Natural Disaster Reduction (IDNDR).
This international promotional mechanism was conceived to run from1990 through 1999, to motivate concerted international action
and cooperation which could“reduce the loss of life, property damage, and social and economic disruption
caused by natural disasters, especially in developing countries”.
IDNDR is based on the understanding that there is sufficient scientific
and technical knowledge, save lives and propertyfrom
natural and similar disasters through to more extensive application.
IDNDR provides a framework and serves as a catalyst for disaster reduction.
It provides a stimulus to provoke the expanded use of practical measures
for more effective disaster preparedness and management practices.
The international impact of the subject was expanded in May 1994
at the World Conference for Natural Disaster Reduction, convened by
the UN in Yokohama, Japan. Representatives of 155 nations adopted
fundamental guidelines for natural disaster prevention, preparedness
and mitigation, embodied in the Yokohama Strategy and Plan of Action
for a Safer World. The Yokohama Conference underlined the importance
of an economic rationale for disaster reduction, complementing the
earlier scientific foundation with an essential commitment from public
The goals established at the start of IDNDRare as
· To improve the capacity of
each country to mitigate the effects of natural disasters, in the
assessment of disaster damage potential, and in the establishment
of early warning systems and disaster resistant capabilities.
· To devise appropriate guidelines
and strategies for applying existing scientific and technical knowledge.
· To foster scientific and engineering
endeavour aimed at addressing critical gaps in knowledge.
· To disseminate existing and
new technical information.
· To develop measures for the
assessment, prediction, prevention and mitigation of natural disasters
through programmes of technical assistance and technology transfer,
education and training, and to evaluate the effectiveness of programmes.
In essence, the decade's activities seek to shift the emphasis
from post-disaster relief to pre-disaster risk reduction.The key tasks in risk reduction are:
· Avoiding habitation in hazardous
· Developing structures resistant
to the onslaughts of hazards;
· Developing the ability to
rapidly evacuate hazardous areas or to shift residents to hazard-resistant
· Reducing or eliminating natural
hazards through technological intervention (e.g., dams, plantings,
beach groins); and
through preparedness, the means to quickly recover from disasters
with minimal additional suffering and loss of life.
At the local level, in Maharashtra, the experience of the September
30, 1993, earthquake near Killari, highlighted the need for a more
comprehensive disaster management program at the state level.
Response to disasters, in the absence of a defined plan, would be
arbitrary, leading to overemphasis on some actions andabsence
of other critical actions.The objectives ofany disaster management plan should be to localise a disaster,
and to the maximum extent possible, contain it so as to minimise the
impact on life, the environment and property. A formal plan for managing
disasters is therefore necessary. It therefore includes a plan of
action for the following disasters : earthquakes, floods, cyclones,
epidemics, industrial and chemical accidents, road accidents and fires.
At the same time disaster management plan has a strong mitigation
aspect as well, which will reduce the frequency of occurrence of such
The plan would include:
a. Pre-planning a propersequenceofresponse actions;
b. Allocation of responsibilities
to the participating agencies;
codes and standard operating procedures for various departments and
d. Inventory of existing facilities
e. Mechanisms for effective
management of resources;
ofall relief activitiesincluding those of NGOs to ensure a coordinated andeffective
g. Co-ordination with the state
response machinery for appropriate support;
h. Monitoring and evaluation
of actions taken during relief and rehabilitation.
Planning for a disaster or emergency is a complex procedure since
disaster are largely unscheduled. Emergency planning can be considered
asa process of preparation for a range of possible
disasters and will include :
and analysis of the potential hazards, and if possible the mitigation
or elimination of their consequences;
of the resources available to cope with any potential disaster; and
- disaster response and recovery planning.
The primary purpose of emergency planning is the anticipation ofproblems and development ofpossible solutions
within existing constraints. Basically the process includes :
of hazards which would include vulnerability and risk assessment of
of necessary post - disaster tasks and allocation of these tasks to
organisations and individuals;
ofall responding groups to ensure a cohesive and effective response.
The purpose of preparing this plan is :
· To understand
the vulnerability of the various districts to disasters;
· To ascertain
the status of existing resources and facilities available with the
various agencies involved in disaster management in the state;
their adequacies in dealing with a disaster;and
the requirements for institutional strengthening, and capacity strengthening
of human resources.
Using this information, a rational basis for strengthening of the present
system for management of disasters in the State of Maharashtra can
With this in view, a brain - storming workshop was held in May 1995,
with the state department, experts, local officials, academic and
research institutions and NGOswho had experience
in dealing with disaster situations. The workshop recommended that
the GOM engage a small team of international and national consultants
to work in concert with the GOM to prepare a Disaster Management Action
Plan for the state and for selected districts. It was further proposed
that a multi-disaster response plan should focus specifically on the
following disasters – earthquakes,floods,cyclones, epidemics, road accidents, fires and
industrial and chemical accidents.
1.1 Scope of the
This exercise of preparation of disaster management plan in Maharashtra,
supported by the World Bank and UNDP, aims to develop a Disaster Management
Action Plan (DMAP) for the state and all the districts. The study
wasconducted in three phases as shown below.
Phase I - Document on Risk Analysis and Vulnerability Assessment
for the state.
Phase II - Preparation of the State Disaster Management Action Plan
and the District Disaster Management Action Plan for six districts,
one from each division. Simultaneously, withassistance
from the UNDP, the exercise of preparation of District Disaster Management
Action Plan with a uniform framework for the remaining twenty five
districts is beingundertaken.
PhaseIII - Document on Disaster Mitigation Strategy for State of Maharashtra.
The Disaster Management Action Plan for the state is proposed to
be developed as an integrated plan encompassing alldisasters
in the multi-response fashion keeping with the international trend.
Albeit, a common planning and operational framework is proposedfor all thedisasters whichwouldensure a systematic assessment, communication and
management of risk, appropriate for a disaster and identification
During the first phase of the study, the Government of Maharashtraappointed expert committees for deliberating on the various
hazards. The committee meetings provided a platform for discussions
on the current status of information related to existing emergency
plans in the state, additional study requirements, possible approaches
to be followed while developing the plan and a greater focuson the scope of the study.
Following the meetings, these committees were dissolved and the
project continued with more one-to-onemeetings between various experts and the national consultants appointed
to undertakethe present assignment.
To obtain district level informationformats / templates
of the information requirements had been prepared by the consultants
and discussed with district collectors and divisional commissioners
at a workshop held on 3rd January, 1997, at the World Trade
Centre, Mumbai. Based on the response to these formats and templates,
risk assessment and vulnerability analysis exercise was undertaken
at the district level by the Collectors through a series of consultative
meetings. Co-ordinators were appointed to assist District Collectors
for verification of information and collating data. The work of co-ordinators
was facilitated by the support from Divisional Commissioner’s office
through Divisional Co-ordinators appointed under the project.
The process of consultation subsequently continued through a series
of meetings with district collectors and divisional commissioners
at the district and divisional level. The draft documents were presented
and reviewed at a workshop in Washington in June, 1997, by a group
of experts, the World Bank, UNDP and DFID. Based on their suggestions,
the documents were revised.
The scope of the present document extends to an analysis of the
generic reasons for the risks due to hazards in the state, and an
attempt at identifying the vulnerable areas in the state specific
to each hazard.Secondary data from the various state
government departments and information from newspaper clippings has
been sought. A detailedreview of the existing resources
and their adequacy vis-a-vis disaster management entails collection
of exhaustive information on the project status in the various districts.
The major issues that emerged from the committee meetings are reiterated
in this document for the sake of continuity.
Risk Assessment for the Indian Subcontinent
a disaster is a, event, located in time and space, that produces the
conditions whereby the continuity of the structure and processes of
social units becomeproblematic.” (Russell R. Dynes, 1980. Participation in Social and Political
Activities, San Francisco, Jossey-Bass Publishers. )
The developing countries where two thirds of the world’spopulation
live, suffer the most debilitating consequences due to natural disasters.90per cent of the natural disasters and 95 per cent
of the total disasterrelated deaths worldwide, occur
in the developing countries. In the light of this data, it naturally
becomes important to examine the connection between development and
disasters, as also the link between poverty and disasters in order to
develop appropriate rehabilitation and mitigation strategies on the
one hand, and refinement of development strategies on the other.
Based on the events of natural disaster - those occurringduring the period of thirtyyears from 1st
January 1963 to 31st December 1992 - a global study was conducted
to understand the impacts of disaster on populations.The impact was understood mainly in three different categoriesviz, no. of lives lost, number of people affected in compared
to total population of the region and the significant damage, i.e. damage
to the country in relation to its total annual gross national product
(GNP).The results of this study are presented below.These results apply to the region of Indian peninsula and are
presented in graphical forms.
1. Figure 1: The first figure
shows the number of significant disasters which occurred in the region,
for each of the three categories described previously, over the entire
period, by five-year windows.It thus shows the five-year
period(s) which were particularly severe for the region as far as
significant disasters are concerned, as well as the increase of such
2. Figure 2: The second figure
takes the same data and gives a statistically calculated trend line
for the number of significant disasters in each of the three categories
over the30 year period of the study.It
is thus an indication of whetherof significant disasters
in each category can be expected to increase in number (andat what rate), decrease or remain at the same level in the future based
on 30 years of history in the region.
3. Figure 3: The third figure
shows the numberof significant disasters in each category which has struck the region
over the past 30 years, along with a total of all such disasters in
4. Figure 4: The fourth figure
shows the same data as a pie chart showing the proportion ofsignificant disaster in each category which the region hassuffered over the entire period.
5. Figure 5: The last figure in
each group shows the statistically calculated trend lines forsignificant disaster in each category.It is
thus an indication of whether each type of significant disaster can
be expected to increase in number (and at what rate), decrease or
remain at the same level in the future based on 30 years of history
in the region.
Note : Trends have usually not been computed for all types of significant
disasters which have struck the region, but only for the principal
ones i.e. only those which represent some 5-10 per cent or more of
all such disasters for the region.It should also be
noted that because of the small number of samples of disaster types
for some regions, the statistical confidence level of the calculated
trends may not be high in those cases.
These figures indicate:
1. An increasing trend
in number of disasters over last thirty years from 20 disasters in
1963-67 to 65 disasters in the period 1988-92
2. Number of deaths
show an increasing trend over the last 30 years, except for minor
fluctuations.Number of deaths is quite high during
the five years of 1988-92.The increasing trend in number of deaths is much more evident in thefigure 2.
3. Number of persons
affected due to disasters has not increasedas much as the number of deaths.So the number of people who died is much morethan the
number of people affected.
4. ‘The significant
damage’(damage of one per cent or more of total annual
GNP) does not show anyincreasing trend over 25 years, 1963 to 1987.However,
the cumulative frequency in figure 2 indicates an increasing trend.It shows that though the number of deathshave increase, property damage and damage intotal annual
GNP has not increase proportionately.Over the five
years of 1988-92, significant damagehas also increased
to a large extent.It also shows that the five years
of 1988-92 were, really disastrous, havinghigher numberof disasters more of deaths andcausing more property damage.
5. Figure 3 and4 show that floods are the most damaging disasters in terms
of deaths, persons affected and damages, followed by tropical cyclones.
38 per cent of the deaths in disasters are due to occurrence of floods.
Droughts also affect a large number of persons causingmigration
and loss of employment but they do not kill many. 24 per cent of persons
affected during disasters have been because of droughts.Epidemics
also take a huge toll of livesbut they do not cause
significant damage to assets.Earthquakesare
rated quite low in terms of theirdamaging capacity
but this may be because of infrequent occurrences of high magnitude
earthquakes.Figure 4 that shows that damage due to
floods is more visible asthey account forabout 50 per centof significant damages.54 per centpeople are affected due to floods and 36
per cent of total disaster related deaths are due to floods.Tropical storms rate second as far as their damaging capacities
go, followed by epidemics.
6. Based on the trends shown so
far, statistical analysis has been done to show expectedtrends in disaster characteristics. Figure 5 shows that the
significant damage may be increased in case of floods and tropical
cyclones in future.Earthquakes also may cause higher
damages than before, however, increase in damage due to earthquakes
is expected to be lower thanthat by floods and storms.It is expected that droughts will show reduced damages. However, the
number of peopleaffected due to droughts will be increased.The number of peopleaffected is expected to be quite high due to floods andsteady
in caseof epidemics.Interestingly, number of persons affected
due to storms is expected to be few, which may be an indication of
better predictability and efficient warning systems. The figure also
indicates that number of deaths will increasefor floods
and epidemics.Whereasdeaths due to tropical storms will be reduced
to some extent.
7.Assessments of thefuture trends indicatethat natural events causing disasters will be more frequent with floods
causing themost severe disasters.
However, it must be noted that all the above discussions are not
limited to Indiabut covers Afghanistan, Pakistan, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh and Sri
Lanka too.There are differences among these countries
in their geographical locations, topography and theirdevelopmental
status.It also indicates vast differences in relative
intensity of hazards that these countries face.
The Economic and Social Commission for Asia and Pacificreport on “Natural Hazards and Natural Disaster Reductionin Asia and the Pacific”indicates that India has a moderate risk of facing cyclones and earthquakes,
whereas it is severely prone to the risks of floods and droughts.
: Relative intensity of hazards faced by some countries/areas
in Asia and the Pacific
States of Micronesia
People’s Democratic Republic
* Coastal Flooding
Source: Asian Disaster Preparedness Center
DHA/South Pacific Regional Environmental Programme/Emergency Management Australia
Legend:S = severe; M = moderate: L = low
Thus observing the Asian scenario, it may be concluded that India has
a moderately risk of facing natural events which may result in disasters.The risk of such events is quite high for floods or droughts andis moderate forearthquakes or cyclones.However, considering the heavy damages earthquakes and cyclones inflict
onsociety, one has to be concerned about not only the
degree of risk but also the magnitude of impact of the event.
Risk Assessment for the State of Maharashtra
“Risk is the probability that injury to life or damage to property
and the environment will occur. The extent to which risk is either
increased or diminished is the result of the interaction of a multitude
of causation chains of events.” (Terry Jeggle and Rob Stephenson,
Concepts of Hazard and Vulnerability Analysis).
The dominant physical trait of the state of Maharashtra is its plateau
character. The state is covered by the Satpura range on its northern
side while Ajanta and Satmala ranges run through the central part
of the state.The Arabian sea guards the western boundary
ofMaharashtra with a coastal line of 720 kilometres.
Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh form the state’s boundaries on its northern
side with the latter also covering the eastern region whileGoa, Karnataka,and Andhra Pradeshare on the Southern side.
The state receives its rainfall chiefly from the southwesterly winds.
Normally, there are heavy rainsin the coastal region (around 2000 mm), scanty rains in the rain-shadow
regions in the central part (around 500 mm) and medium rains in the
eastern part of the state (around 1000 mm).
Basic Statistics of Maharashtra
of administrative divisions: 6
of districts: 31
of talukas : 325
of city and town units :336
ofinhabitated villages : 40,412
· Totalpopulation (census 1991) :78,937,000
Maharashtra is the country’s leading industrial state, accounting
for 23 per cent of the gross value output from the industrial sector.
Its main areas of strength are textiles, pharmaceuticals, petrochemical
industries, heavy chemical industries, electrical automobile industries,
engineering and food processing. The state is a leading manufacturer
of three wheelers, jeeps, synthetics, cold rolled steel products,
industrial alcohol and plastic. Around 30 per cent of the sugar output
ofthe country is from Maharashtra. The organisational structure for the
state is given in Appendix V. As a part of risk analysis, effort is
being made to look at the available data and assess the possible risk
for each of the hazards.
Ofallnatural hazards, earthquakes seemthemost terrifying.Theycan inflict tremendous damagewithinseconds andwithout warning at
any time of day, on any day of theyear.Groundshaking and surface faulting are often just theforerunnersof secondary damage, such as fires, floods (causedbydam bursts), landslides, quick soil and tsunamis (seismic sea waves).
Earthquakesarecausedby the movementofmassiveland area called plate on the earth's crust.Often covering areas largerthan thecontinent, these plates are in a constant stateof motion, acted upon by the periodic forces of the solar system and
movement caused by the rotation of the earth.As the plates move in to relationtoone another, stresses form and accumulateuntila fractureorabruptslippage occurs.Thissuddenreleaseof stress is called an earthquake.
The place at which the stress is released is known as the focusof an earthquake.From this point, mechanicalenergyis initiatedinthe form of waves that radiate inalldirections throughtheearth.When this energy arrivesattheearth's surface,itforms secondary surface waves. Thefrequencyand amplitudeof the vibrations produced at the surface,indicating theseverityoftheearthquake,dependsontheamountof mechanicalenergy released at the focus, the distance anddepth
ofthe focus, and the structural properties of the rock orsoil
on or near the surface.
Earthquakes can occur anywhere. They may occur in an areanot knowntohave experienced previous
activity and maysuggesta temporary increase inrisk ofhazard in the area. Or they may occur in areaswhich have a previous history of subterraneansoundsand seismic activities.Another importantindicationas to whereearthquakesmay occurhuman activity like the construction ofareservoir. However,itmaybe noted that someofthephysical phenomena causing earthquake
are still poorly understood.
Earthquakes have several distinct effects that can damage structures,
disrupt and even endanger ourlives.An understanding of these natural hazards and
how they result in damage can lead to more effective safety planning
at the city level, and to better decisions about the uses of individual
· Ground Shakingis
the most geographically widespread effect of earthquakes, occurring
throughout the region.
· Surface rupturemay
occur directly along the fault line.
· Ground failureoccurs
when soil that is saturated with water, is on a slope,is otherwise weak, cannot support structures, or even itself, after
being subjected to ground shaking.
· Other hazardsthat
can result from earthquakes include tsunami and seiches.
Most earthquake damage is due toground shakingwhich occurs in all earthquakes. The impacts of ground shaking will
be quite widespread, and are much less predictable than those of surface
rupture.The severity of ground shaking varies considerably
over the effected region, depending on:
· the size of the earthquake;
· the distance from the causative
· the nature of the soil at
· the nature of the geologic
material between the site and the fault topography.
In general, sites with stronger soil will experience shaking of
less intensity than those in low-lying areas. Some sites, particularly
those with poor soils, will experience strong ground shaking even
in distant earthquakes.Sites with stronger soil will
experience strong ground shaking only when a nearby fault is involved.
The most obvious and direct effect of earthquakeis
the rupture of the ground surface along the fault.Ground rupture occurs in some, but not all large earthquakes.Structures are often not able to withstand surface rupture.Streets, utilities and other lifelines that cross an earthquake
fault are at great risk of damage.The impacts of fault
rupture, while locally severe, are not widespread and are relatively
Ground failure means that the soil is weakened so that can it no
longer support its own weight or the weight of structures.The major types of ground failure associated with earthquakes
are liquefaction, landslidesand settlement.
In addition to the characteristics of the earthquake and of the
site (such as the magnitude, duration, soils type), a structure's
characteristics, including structural type, materials, design, and
quality of construction and maintenance, will determine how well it
will perform.After San Francisco's 1865 earthquake, the front page of a local newspaper
observed, "Well-built structures on good ground survived the
shaking effects of the earthquake better than structures on made ground.
It may be noted thatbuildings having walls properly
secured andlain incement, with sound foundations,
suffer the least damage during earthquakes.
Hazardous Building Types
There are other building types, in addition to unreinforced masonry
buildings, that have not performed well in earthquakes.The
most serious hazard, and also the most difficult policy issues, may
be posed by non-ductile concrete frame structures.Inmany of these buildings, the frame was not designed or constructed
to allow it to move without fracturing.As a result,
these are susceptible to collapse in strong earthquakes.There were many falls of such buildings in the San Fernando 1971earthquake.Many deaths in the Mexico City 1985 ,Armenia 1988,Northridge 1994 andKobe
1995 earthquakes resulted from the fall of non-ductile concrete frame
“Soft-storey” buildings or those in which at least one storey often
the ground floor has much less rigidity and/or strength than the rest
of the structure, are significant hazards.The 1974
Blume report identified smallerwood-frame buildings
with soft storeys as having the potential to collapse during an earthquake.
Duringboth the Loma Prieta and theNorthridge 1994 earthquakes, soft-storey residentialbuildings
failed, resulting in deaths. Small wood-frame residential buildings
can be very resistant to earthquake ground shaking, especially if
they are bolted to their foundations and have strong first storeys.
Typically, in Latur, the housing material consisted of stone and
mud resulting in total or sizeable loss ofhouses along
with the loss of nearly 8,000 people in the affected villages. The
data on vulnerable houses is given in the vulnerability analysis.
The impact of earthquakes differ for urban and rural areas, primarily
because of the nature of infrastructure, quality of housing and occupational
differences. In rural areas, it is primarily the housing and physical
structures (including irrigation infrastructure) which may suffer
extensive damage, without necessarily destroying the crops.
In urban areas, in addition to housing and physical infrastructures,
it may also disturb the service infrastructure such as water supply,
sewage, telephones, electricity, piped gas supply etc., which are
essentially underground installations and hence exposed to a direct
impact. The disruption, therefore, in urban areas and consequent investments
for rehabilitation becomes a major challenge. So, more emphasismaybe givenonmitigative and preparedness measures tominimisethe disastrous effects of an earthquake.
Earthquakes’ most profound impacts are deaths and serious injuries.Number of casualties largely depend on the number of people in the area
at the time and the types of structures that they occupy.Most deaths and injuries are caused by the failure of buildings
and structures. The number of casualties also depend upon the time
of occurrence of the earthquake.
Important variables could substantially reduce the toll.The failure (or lack of failure) of a few high-occupancy orcritical facilities such as arenas, theaters, or dams could influence
the final casualty count significantly. The degree of water saturation
of the ground will influence the occurrence of landslides and the
area subject to liquefaction.Weather conditions, especially
wind speed and direction, will affect the spread of fire and the ability
of emergency responders to control fires.
3.2.4 Indian Peninsula and Maharashtra
During its evolution, the Indian peninsula was subjectedto intensetectonic forces due to which numerous folds,
faultsand fractures have been developed in the ancient rocks of this land
mass.peninsularIndia is classified
The earthquakes in a stable continental area, suchas theoneatKillarion 30thSeptember1993,werecausedby adjustments of crustal blocks along such pre-existing weakzones.Isolated seismic activity within the shield is indicative ofthe movements going on along some of the old basement faults,
perhaps at a very slow rate.
The state of Maharashtra and its adjoining areas formpart ofthe peninsular shield of India.The
state ofMaharashtra occupiesthecentral-westernportionofpeninsularIndia, technicallyan intraplate continental area. Most ofMaharashtra iscoveredbythe deccan traps, asequenceofbasaltflows placed about 65 million years ago.In most of the area,these flowsarenearlyhorizontal,demonstratingthattectonic deformationaccumulatedis very little or nil.Thoughthisarea wastreated as seismically stable with no potential
fordisastrousearthquakes, this belief was shattered bytheKoyna earthquake of December 11, 1967, with magnitude
of 6.5 on the Richter Scale. Recent Laturearthquakeof September30, 1993, having magnitude6.4which occurredwellwithin the central part of the shieldledtoa review of the seismic activity
in the stable shield zone.
Thus, tectonic stability in the deccan plateau may appearto beinconsistentwith the observed levelofseismicity.This apparent
contradiction reflects the primitive stage ofknowledge
aboutseismogenesisin stable continental region, and isthe rootofproblemof rise assessmentof an earthquake. Thus the potentiallyactive tectonic features which could produce earthquakes withengineering consequences need to be studied.
It may be noted that stable continental regionworldwide are characterized bya verylargenumberof unknown faults that canatsomepoint producean earthquake.Many of these faults may belocatedin areasthathavelowornoseismicityandaretechnically stable.
Maharashtra and adjoining regions are prone toearthquakes ofmoderatemagnitudeas can be seen from
the experience ofseveralyears.Koyna regions experiences the maximum number
of tremors in Maharashtra. Excluding the Koyna region, and other regions
of Killari, Khardi (Bhatsa) and Medhi (Surya),appendix
III lists 137 earthquakesof which 121 earthquakes
of magnitude about 3.0 or aboveare in Maharashtra
and 16are in the adjoining regions. Table II gives
a list of the major earthquake occurrencesin Maharashtra.
Major Earthquakes in Maharashtra
The Deouskar committee report of 1995 presents the pattern of seismicity
in Maharashtra. The above map indicatesthe location
of areas which have experienced earthquakes till date. The study reportsthat :
· Earthquakesin Maharashtra show major alignmentalongthe west coast and western ghats region.Seismic activity can beseen near Ratnagiri,along the western coast, Koyna Nagar,Bhatsa
and Surya areas ofThanedistrict.
· Thenorth - south trend further continuesdeepinsideGujarat.The striking characteristicof this narrow region is itsalignmentwith the hot spring belt.It
appears that theoff - coast activity is associated
with submerged faults along the west coast of Maharashtra.
· Innorth Maharashtra,
the seismic activity nearDhule,Akola, JalgaonandAmravati could be due to movementsonthefaults present in the area associated
with the complex system of Narmada, Tapi and Purna lineaments.However, the exact seismicstatus of these lineaments needs to be evaluated with extensive monitoring.
· In north - east corner of
Maharashtra, the earthquake activityinNagpurand Bhandara districts maybeassociatedwith Deolapar thrust or
sheared and faulted zones of Ramtek and Sakoli Basins.This needs to be confirmed.
· Isolatedactivityis seen nearBeed,Nanded,Ujjaniand Solapurin eastern Maharashtra andUran, Kolhapur and Sindhudurgain south-west Maharashtra.These activities may be due tomovements on local faults inthe basement.
· Seismicityisalso seennearBhatsanagarandSuryanagar.Recently,isolatedactivity alsooccurredinLatur-Osmanabad districts
in south-east Maharashtra.
3.2.6 Future Risk Analysis
Based on the earthquakes occurred sofar in the
state and considering the seismic pattern, a rezoning, for new dam
designs only, has been proposedby the Deouskar Committee
for the state of Maharashtra. The existing and the proposed zoning
mapispresented below.Itmaybenotedthatevenafterusing sophisticatedtechniqueslikecarbon dating,ithasnotbeen possible to identify whether the fault is active. If some seismicity
is associated with amajor lineament, it can be considered as an active tectonic feature
for thepurposeofengineering seismicriskanalysisandthese regions can be considered as risk prone.
Thewestcoast - Western Ghats seismogenic region isthemost activearea in the Maharashtra state.The Koyna-Warnaandthe Bhatsa areas are located in this region.Even before theoccurrence of the Koyna earthquake of 11 December, 1967, withmagnitude 6.5,earthquakeswithmagnitude of about 6.0
areknowntohave occurred in this region. The report further observes
· Theactivity in the Koyna-Warna regionhasbeencontinuingfor thepast three decades withoccasionalspurts, producing events with magnitude above 5.0.This trend is expectedtocontinue in future.
· Bhatsa region experienced
a swarm of seismic activityduring1983-84, withamaximum magnitude of 4.9.The activityhasdieddown sincethen with only a temporary spurt in 1990.
· The Surya area about 50 km.
north-west of Bhatsa, has recently shownincrease in
seismic activity.The energy inBhatsa-Surya
regionmaynot have been fully released and possibilityofan earthquakewith a magnitude of around
6.0 in future, cannot beruled out.
· Further south of Warna, some
micro seismic activityhas beenreportedinthe past. Because this regionliesinthe active west coast-Western
Ghats, thepossibility of a maximum magnitude earthquake
of around 6.0 cannot be ruled out in future.
· There was no evidence of any
significant seismicactivityin theLatur-Osmanabad area in the known past.Also,thetectonic featurestowhich the Killari earthquake of 30September,1993, could be attributed are not known sufficiently.However, theoccurrence of Killari earthquake
of moderate magnitude of 6.4 gives anindicationofneotectonicactivityinthearea.Though,the stress hasbeen released at Killari,a similar magnitude earthquake at some other place in the area cannot
be ruled out.
· Beforethe Killariearthquake,infrequenttremorsand subterranean sounds had been reportedinthe area.Similar instances were also
reported from many otherlocations in Beed, Parbhani
and Nanded districts.In the absence of knowledgeaboutany seismotectonic features in thisarea,low to moderate earthquakes can be experienced.
· In addition to the above seismogenic
regions in Maharashtra,theNarmada-Tapiregion covering theborderareasof Maharashtraand Madhya Pradesh stateshas been reportedtobe activesince historical times. Tense
fracturing, alignment ofhot springsand
locations of epicenters in these areas leads tothe
conclusionthat these two are the zones of crustalweaknessin Maharashtra.
· TheTapiandthe Purna lineaments inthenorthernpartof Maharashtra have been recognized as active faults withpotential
togeneratelowmagnitudeearthquakes. TheTapilineament representsa line of
crustal weakness along whichactivityhas
6.0 are known to have occurred in the northern parts of this region
across the border of Maharashtra.
· Accordingto a scientist, there is a major anticipatedzoneof upliftin the Sangola area and another to the east
ofSholapur.Verticalmovementsof these crustal blocksmaycauseseismic disturbancesin the areas, ashas happened in Killari .
· Due to increasing trend of
seismic activity noticed in Maharashtra in recent times, earthquakes
with lowmagnitudes around 4 to 4.5 may occur in areas where there has been noseismic activity in the past.
While doing a risk assessment forearthquakes, mention
has to be made ofreservoir induced seismicity (RIS).
The 1967 Koyna earthquake of 6.5 magnitudeis contended
to be due to RIS.Between 1963to1998, the Koyna region has faced102715tremors,of which 79 wereabove magnitude of 4 (Richter scale) and seven were above magnitude
of5 (Richter scale) as listed below.
Table III: Intensity of Earthquakes in Koyna Region (1963 to 1998) on
Number of episodes
Keeping this contention in mind, therefore there is a need to take into
account the presence of various water reservoirs in the state for earthquake
risk assessment. MERI has produced a list of water reservoirs in the state
which indicates a potential risk in these particular regions and will
have implications for any future development of large water bodies.
Table IV: List of Water Reservoirs
Name of Project Taluka
Lower Terna Osmanabad
Paithan (Jayakwadi) Ahmednagar
Tillari Hydro Electric Project Kolhapur
Tillari Forebay Kolhapur
Tillari Irrigation Project Sindhudurg
Upper Vaitarna Nashik
Lower Vaitarna Nashik
Kavdas(Pick-up Weir) Thane
Apart from these 27 major projects, there are 171 medium projects and
1,545 minor irrigation projects.
It is very important to consider these regions as earthquake risk prone
areas, as qualitatively there are no differences in damages due to an
earthquake, whether induced by active/non-active faults or a water reservoir.
Earthquake risk assessment is all the more difficult in Maharashtra
because of a lack of seismic instrumentation in many parts of the state.
Maharashtra is no doubt the most seismically instrumented state in India
with 52 seismic risk observatories (map given above). However, almost
all this instrumentation is concentrated in some pockets such as Koyna-Warna
and Bhatsa-Surya areas, while in remaining parts of the state, there
is hardly any instrumentation at all, excluding the cities like Pune,
Mumbai, Nagpur etc.
The conditions are further aggravated by almost 80 per cent of the
state being covered by a thick pile of lava, thus hiding from direct
view the seismogenic faults lying below the basalts. Added to the above
is the very scanty availability of reliable historical records of past
earthquakes in the state, which moreover, extend over a short period
of only 150 years or so. Popular confidence in the ability of seismologists
to provide useful information has been dealt a blow by the Killari earthquake.
First, this deadly earthquake occurred in an area previously classified
as the least hazardous among five categories. Secondly, popular concerns
arising from a burst of precursory seismicity were dubbed as alarmist
by expert opinion. Therefore, earthquake prediction is very inexact
even with all the technology.
Results from seismological investigations on the Killari earthquake
and other recent stable continental region earthquakes suggest, that
damaging earthquakes will not be confined to areas that have experienced
earthquakes in the past, nor to areas that are characterized by prominent
tectonic features. Thus, a uniform distribution of potential earthquake
sources can be expected in Maharashtra, indicating that the risk of
earthquakes is omnipresent.
Prediction of earthquakes (as regards time and place of occurrence,
magnitude and intensity) is as yet inadequate. With all the sophisticated
instrumentation and large array of personnel collecting vital data over
a fairly long period, it has not been possible to predict earthquakes
and avoid disasters as is seen in the Kobe earthquake in Japan.
3.3.1 Nature and Occurrence
A cyclone is a violent natural phenomenon occurring in the atmospheric
blanket enveloping our earth. In the tropics it occurs as a vast violent
whirl, 150 to 300 kilometers across, 102 to 117 kilometers high, spiraling
around the center and progressing along the surface of the sea, covering
300 to 500 kilometers a day. Wind speeds rise very high near the center
(eye) of the cyclone upto 160 kilometers per hour or more.
Three major devastating effects associated with cyclones are storm
surges, gale winds and very heavy rain. The pressure systems are classified
as: cyclonic storm (61-85 kilometers per hour), severe cyclonic storm
(86-115 kilometers per hour), severe cyclonic storms with core of hurricane
winds (equal to or exceeding 116 kilometers per hour).
Much is known about how a cyclone forms. In order to develop, a cyclone
must have a warm sea and calm warm air. The warm air rises -- heavy,
humid, and full of water vapour. Its place is taken by air rushing in
from the sides and, because of the earth's rotation, this moving air
is given a twist, so that the entire system begins to revolve. The warm
rising air meets cooler air and releases its water vapour in the form
of rain. It takes a tremendous amount of energy for the air to lift
the water in the first place, and now this energy is released in the
form of heat. This increases the rate of ascent of the air and a continuous
cycle begins to develop. More water is released and also more heat :
more the water and heat released, faster the cycle moves. This cycle
becomes the engine that drives the beast, and gradually it goes faster
and faster and the air mass becomes much larger.
Because the wind system is revolving, centrifugal force tends to throw
the air outward so that the pressure in the center becomes very low,
thus forming the eye of the storm. The pressure on the outside is very
high, so the wind moves faster in an attempt to fill that low pressure
area. The faster it moves the more the centrifugal force throws it outward.
Soon there are very fast circular winds and, when they reach 120 kilometres
per hour, the system becomes a cyclone or hurricane.
The system then begins to move forward like a spinning top. This brings
it into contact with more warm sea and air, and the process becomes
self-sustaining. Once a cyclone is formed, it will continue to move
and expand until it passes over land or over an area where the sea is
In the northern hemisphere, cyclones generally move in a north-westerly
direction; in the southern hemisphere, in a south-westerly direction.
Little is known about what makes these storms move and change direction,
other then that they are affected by the high altitude winds and rotation
of the earth. So far, scientists have found it difficult to predict
the movement of the cyclone, making this hazard one of the most dangerous.
3.3.2 Potential Impact
Cyclones are considered as one of the most damaging natural disasters.
They make impact by killing people, damaging property, crops and infrastructure.
In the rural areas, the damage is primarily to lives, crops and to housing.
It may also affect the irrigation infrastructure. The damage to forest
and plantations, when it occurs, has a long term effect, and also takes
a much longer period for restoration. In urban areas, both transport
and communication receive a serious damage, in addition to loss of life
As mentioned above, cyclones rise in the seas and get calm when it
comes in contact with the land. Thus, the coastal areas are very much
at risk to cyclones. Maharashtra has a coastal belt of over 720 kilometers
between Gujarat to Goa. Thus the Konkan region including Mumbai becomes
prone to the risk of cyclones. There are 386 marine fishing villages
/ hamlets with 17,918 boats engaged in fishing in this coastal belt.
3.3.3 History of Cyclones in Maharashtra
In the Arabian sea, during the period 1890-1995, 207 depressions/cyclonic
storms/severe cyclonic storms have been recorded. Most of them have
moved away from Maharashtra. Thus, the coastal region of Maharashtra
is climatologically an area where frequency of cyclonic disturbances
is very low. Out of 207 disturbances, only 19 have affected Maharashtra
- Goa coast. Of these six were major ones causing 70 deaths, with 150
boats and 160 crew missing and extensive damage to trees and ships.
Some of these which made an impact on Maharashtra are listed below.
The wind and cyclone hazard map for Maharashtra has also been produced
indicating the risk zones according to possible impact.
Table V: List of Cyclones
Thus, in spite of having a long coastal region, Maharashtra has experienced
only 6 cyclones in last 50 years, though there have been numerous threats.
Thus climatologically, this area is having low risk of cyclone strikes.
Mumbai which is the economic capital of India, is also a coastal city
which has faced many threats of cyclones in recent times. It has faced
peripheral impact in 1982, 1988 and October 1996 (a note on October’96
episode is given in Appendix I), and has been hit on two occasions (June,
1996 and 1948). It indicates that the city is prone to cyclones. Considering
the problems the Indian economy may have to face if Mumbai is hit by
a cyclone, it becomes far more important to implement preventive and
preparedness measures here.
3.3.4 Warning Systems
Presently, Area Cyclone Warning Centre, Colaba, Mumbai, is responsible
for issue of cyclone warning bulletins for Arabian sea north of Latitude
5 deg N and east of Longitude 60 deg E excluding the area north of 20
deg N and west of 68 deg E. According to the two stage warning scheme,
ACWC, Mumbai, issues warnings for coastal districts of Goa and Maharashtra
in 2 stages.
Whenever the coastal belt is expected to experience adverse weather
(heavy rain/gales/tidal wave) in association with a cyclonic storm or
depression likely intensify into a cyclonic storm ACWC, Mumbai, issues
warnings for coastal districts of Goa and Maharashtra in two stages
under two stage warning scheme.
• Cyclone alert (lst stage warning) : It is issued 48 hrs in
advance of expected commencement of adverse weather over coastal areas.
• Cyclone warning (2nd stage warning): It is issued 24 hours in
advance of expected commencement of adverse weather.
• Frequency of issue and mode of communication :
Chief secretary, collectors and other address: Twice a day at 1330 hrs
and 21.30hrs by telegram/ telefax.
AIR Mumbai, Ratnagiri : Every 3hrs by telegram and every hour
whenever the system is close to coast and is tracked by the cyclone
• Automation of cyclone warning bulletin : The preparation of
cyclone warning,/alert message has been computerised.
• Main mode of communication of cyclone warnings is by telegram
-000 weather immediate telegram, Telex, W/T (full-form), Telephone,
Fax, Police wireless if other channels fail and satellite communication
(disaster warning system).
New scheme of dissemination of cyclone warnings has been introduced
by issuing VSAT where the cyclone messages prepared by ACWC, Mumbai,
are transmitted to the satellite uplink station at Yeour (Mumbai). From
the satellite earth station at Yeour, the messages are sent to the satellite
with appropriate instructions to communicate and activate only those
receivers located at the particular areas where storm is likely to cross.
The receiving system is a dish antenna, which receives the signals and
converts into audio messages. An audio alarm proceeds the bulletin.
The DWS receiver has been installed in the east coast and installation
in west coast is in progress in different places while in DWS phase
III. 8 stations in coastal Maharashtra and 12 stations in Gujarat are
planned. Goa is one of them.
18.104.22.168 Cyclones over Land
a) Informatory messages are issued at the earliest to all concerned
authorities in plain language, emphasising the likely adverse weather
over their areas along with details of position and likely direction
of movement etc. of the cyclone.
b) Warning messages are issued at least 24 hrs in advance.
c) Two warning messages per day, based on 0830 and 1730 IST charts,
are issued till the system weakens. In case, the occasion demands one
or two more warning messages are issued based on 1430 and 2330 IST charts.
d) Warning messages are issued to:-
• Chief secretary of concerned state/states.
• District collector/collectors of the concerned districts.
• Other concerned officials indicated by the state government.
Warning messages are also issued to local AIR/ Doordarshan for repeated
e) Chief secretary or his representative is informed over telephone.
District authorities are informed by '000 WX immediate" telegrams/telex
f) Safe situation messages are issued immediately after the cyclone
Due to the devastating effects of cyclonic storms as well as the unpredictability
of their movement, it is necessary that adequate preventive and preparedness
measures be undertaken, by way of improving the warning systems, for
facing such an eventuality. An action plan has already been made and
needs to be integrated with the state disaster management action plan.
3.4.1 Nature and Occurrence
It can be clearly seen from table VI, that floods affect Maharashtra
quite frequently. Also, floods are not just restricted to one particular
region, but are spread all over the state. Maharashtra, therefore, exhibits
a high proneness to floods. Most floods occur during monsoon and hence,
the accompanying damage such as deaths due to lightning, landslides,
house crashes and drowning have been commonly reported from most districts.
Floods kill by destroying houses, crops and food stocks. They strip
farm lands, wash away irrigation systems and erode large areas of land
or make them unusable otherwise. Floods are more threatening for an
agricultural economy such as that of Maharashtra, especially because
of the heavy damage they cause, thereby disrupting the economy.
It may be noted that there are lots of man-made reasons for the occurrence
of floods. Analyzing the floods in Maharashtra, one observes that most
floods in Maharashtra are flash floods due to nallah-overflows and poor
drainage systems. Very few floods, like the one in Konkan in 1983, are
due to heavy rains in the region.
3.4.2 Floods and Flash Floods
Majority of the floods have taken place either because of a breach
in embankments of dams, or because the engineers on dams had to release
surplus water from the reservoirs (resulting from heavy rains in catchment
area), causing floods in the low-lying areas along the river belt. Thus,
areas in proximity to dams become more risk prone to floods. As per
1978 data, 2.3 lakh hectares of land in Maharashtra is prone to floods
and protection work has been undertaken for 0.01 lakh hectares land.
The list as well as the map showing rivers and dams has already been
given in the earlier section on Earthquakes. Going by the past experience,
it is important to consider the catchment and command areas of the dams
as risk prone to flash floods. Ecologists believe that large dams contribute
to increased humidity and evaporation which results in heavy rainfall.
Though one cannot neglect the importance of irrigation projects, it
adds to the risk of heavy rainfall which may result in increased risk
of floods. (Report of major floods in Appendix II)
The map showing average rainfall in Maharashtra is produced below.
One can see that only the Konkan region comes under the heavy rainfall
region (2000-4000 mm), whereas Vidarbha and a very small part of Marathwada
have moderate rainfall (1000-2000 mm). The rest of Maharashtra has scanty
rains (below 1000 mm).
Table VI: List of Floods
Maharashtra has 39,949 sq. kilometres of reserve forest, 14,979 sq.
kilometres of protected forest and 6,026 sq. kilometres of unclassified
forest. However, if one examines the revenue from forests, a major source
of revenue is the sale of Bamboo and Tendu leaves (minor forest produce),
thereby indicating the quality of forest. It is estimated that by the
year 2000, only for industrial wood there would be a shortage of 18.36
million cubic metres, which would be accentuated with the demands from
other sectors. Though forest fires further worsen the situation no specific
estimates of losses are available on this count.
According to the expected norms, both nationally and internationally,
at least 33 per cent of the total land should be under forest cover.
The country has hardly 22 per cent of the land under forest cover. The
situation in Maharashtra is worse. Although Maharashtra claims to have
21 per cent of forest land, the satellite imagery indicates that actually,
only 9 per cent of the land has a forest cover. The rest of the land
is only a recorded forest land.
Because of deforestation the ability of ground to absorb water decreases
and at the same time, rate of soil erosion increases. Both result in
higher possibilities of silting of the existing dams and rivers, reduction
in the holding capacity of dams, blockage of natural drainage systems
and consequent floods as the run off rate of water is increased.
It may be noted that poor watershed management increases risk of floods
and hence developmental projects need to assess the impact on natural
drainage to avoid the incidence of flash floods and resultant damage
Another important factor that causes floods is urbanization. Urbanisation
is characterized by lot of incoming migration and high rates of increase
in the population. It leads to a heavy pressure on the existing storm-water
drainage systems in the city. Floods in urban areas mainly result from
faulty planning. Available data on Mumbai shows that land reclamation
over the years has disturbed the natural drainage system. Therefore,
Mumbai’s low lying areas are under the threats of floods even
if there are minor rains. Various reasons are attributed to this as
mentioned below :
1. Many of the gutters are below sea level and this naturally creates
problems in the drainage of water, which aggravates during high tide.
Rains during this period flood the city with rain water which takes
time to recede, adding to the havoc and disrupting the entire traffic
2. The problems in drainage system are also aggravated because of the
high number of new buildings that have come up in the city.
3. The drainage system in Mumbai was built 75 years ago. Considering
the growth of city during this period, and the damage that has occurred,
the system is proving to be inadequate and inefficient.
4. Lots of slums and unauthorized settlements have come up beside the
drainage system. Because of these settlements, the width of the ‘nallas’
get reduced and at the same time lot of garbage and solid waste gets
piled on. The problem is aggravated by the number of waste dealers’
shops and cattle-sheds built near the nallas, cleaning of which, therefore,
becomes difficult. The roads to the nallas are blocked because of these
settlements, creating problems in clearing the streams. This clots the
drains resulting in floods in rainy seasons.
In Mumbai alone, there are 111 places in the city – 26 in Mumbai
city district, 73 in the eastern suburbs and 12 in the western suburbs
– that were identified in 1993 as flood prone areas. The ward
wise list is given herewith.
Ward wise list of flood prone areas in Mumbai
Ward No. of flood prone pockets
City A 3
F (South) 4
F (North) 4
P (South) 1
P (North) 3
This list is made from the available data in 1993. Various works for clearing
of nallas were then planned. However, data on completion of these works
is not available. Also, changes after 1993 are not incorporated in the
Thus, there were 111 places in Mumbai which had chances of flooding.
Thus, the city of Mumbai has high risk of being flooded in rainy seasons
especially if it rains during high tide, resulting in disruption of
traffic, loss of man-days and often making slum dwellers in low-lying
areas homeless for more than a week.
The above discussion not only reflects the situation in Mumbai, but
can be generalized as an urban situation. The situations are more or
less similar for other urban cities too. However, flood-proneness of
other cities has not been discussed here.
With improvements in irrigation infrastructure (dams) and other developments
disrupting the natural drainage, Maharashtra has been increasing the
risk for flash floods. At the same time the urban areas also are under
the threat of floods because of problems of indiscriminate land use
and inadequacy of appropriate drainage systems. High rates of deforestation
and urbanization have added to this problem making the state more risk
prone to floods. Thus it is important to adopt mitigative and preparative
measures to face floods.
In all the districts of Maharashtra, preventive, promotive and curative
health is being looked after by the health department, under the leadership
of the district health officer supported by the health staff at the
district level. Every district headquarter has a civil hospital catering
to the curative needs of the patients from the district. There are also
PHCs(what is a PHC??), referral hospitals and community hospitals supplementing
the task. (Table VII gives the details of health and medical institutions
in Maharashtra as well as the number of specialised hospitals in Maharashtra).
It may be noted that bed - population ratio in Maharashtra, which is
1.46 per thousand is much better than the all india ratio of 0.75 per
thousand. Also, as per 1987 statistics, the ratio of persons per doctor
is better in Maharashtra (1750:1) as against the national ratio (2290:1)
Table VII: Health and Medical Institutions in Maharashtra as of January
A. Health and Medical Institutions Number Beds
1. Hospitals :
State Government 417 42,220
Central Government 45 6,638
Municipal 92 10,955
Private and others 1,364 38,558
Total 1,918 98,371
2. Dispensaries :
State Government 145 209
Central Government 107 76
Municipal 508 539
Zilla Parishad 796 452
Private and others 7,579 1,075
--------------------------- Total 9,135 2,351
3. Primary Health Centre 1,671 10,026
4. Sub-Centres 9,248
5. All other Institutions :
Primary Health Units 81 324
S.M.P Centres 183
6. Grand Total 22,221 1,11,072
7. Bed Population Ratio 1 : 683
8. Doctor Person ratio 1 : 1750
B. Specialised Hospitals in Maharashtra
1. Medical Colleges 23 (11 Govt, 7 Private)
(Including Private) 3 Municipal
2 Central Government
2. E.S.I. Scheme Hospitals 11
3. T.B. Sanitoria / Hospitals (Govt) 6
4. Mental Hospitals 4
5. District Hospitals 25
6. Women Hospitals 9
7. Leprosy Hospitals (Govt) 3
Apart from these, there were 30 mobile units in Maharashtra, as of
By the end of the 7th Five Year Plan, every district hospital was intended
to render services in the following 14 specialties :
I. Basic Specialties
3. Obstetrics and Gynaecology
7. Skin and V.D.
14. Chest Tuberculosis
In addition to the above 14 specialties, following additional facilities
are established in most of the hospitals.
II. Ancillary Facilities
1. Blood Banks
2. Leprosy isolation ward
3. Physiotherapy Unit
4. T.B. Clinic and T.B. Isolation ward
5. Diagnostic Facilities : All hospitals have got a number of X-Ray
machines, well-equipped laboratories, ECG machines etc., for routine
III. Out-reach Services
A large number of surgical and diagnostic camps, sterilization camps,
eye camps, dental camps, cancer and tuberculosis detection camps are
regularly organised by these hospitals in rural areas. They have also
adopted some rural hospitals for regular extension services. They also
give referral services to the lower institutions like rural hospitals
and primary health centres and refer cases beyond their competence to
the hospitals attached to the medical colleges or specialised hospitals.
IV. Training and Health Education
All district hospitals conduct regular training programmes for medical
officers and para-medical staff for teaching the technique of tubectomy,
vasectomy, M.T.P, I.U.D. and other surgical and clinical procedures.
They carry out health education activities not only through exhibition
of posters, slogans painted on hospital walls, regular screening of
films in O.P.D and announcements on public address systems wherever
they are installed, but also through inter-personal discussions with
the patients and relatives. In order to create public awareness a number
of campaigns are launched.
V. Referral Services
District hospitals not only serve as referral centres for the health
institutions located in small urban areas of the district, but also
supervise and guide in effective implementation of the National Health
In terms of infrastructure, therefore, the public health department
is a well staffed department which has played a crucial role in practically
all the emergencies at the district level. At times, they have also
reinforced their efforts with the support from adjoining districts’
staff. One therefore cannot undermine the role played by health department
in the management of emergencies in the disaster situation. However,
there are certain areas, such as diagnostic facilities, that need to
be examined in the context of epidemics.
The Public Health Laboratory, Pune, came into existence as “Sanitary
Board Laboratory” in the year 1912, and is the pioneering institute
for the development of Public Health Laboratory Service in the state.
Later on, another laboratory was started in Amravati in 1957, and Regional
Health Laboratories were established at Nagpur and Aurangabad and District
Public Health Laboratories in all districts. The State and Regional
Public Health Laboratories are notified by the government as “Water
and Waster Water Characterisation Laboratories” under the Maharashtra
Water (Prevention and Control) Act, 1974. The Public Health Laboratory,
Pune, was recognised by World Health Organisation as District Referral
Laboratory in 1960 and as Regional Referral Laboratory in 1971, for
receiving UNICEF aid. Food and Agricultural Orgnisation has recognised
the laboratory for monitoring pesticides and residue in food commodities.
The functions of this Public Health Laboratory are :-
1. To analyse samples of food under Prevention of Food Adulteration
Act, 1954 and Rules there under 1955.
2. To analyse samples of water for its potability and to fix the dose
3. To analyse sewage, trade waste and river waste and river water samples
under the Statutory Control of Environmental Pollution.
4. To monitor food and water samples for pesticide residues.
5. Examine stool, vomit, sputum and blood for pathogens.
6. To exercise vigilance over communicable diseases, their control and
7. To participate in the investigation of communicable diseases at the
time of epidemic, by opening a laboratory on the spot.
8. To investigate the food poisoning cases
9. To impart training to medical officers, sanitary inspectors, food
It has been reported that the diagnostic facilities are not adequately
spread throughout the state. In case of epidemics, time plays a crucial
factor in controlling the spread of viruses and any delay could add
to the vulnerability of the population. Therefore, strengthening the
present diagnostic facilities would ensure better response.
Secondly, because of the lack of diagnostic facilities, a lot of time
is spent in transportation of samples. Even the results of tests take
time. In case of epidemics, time plays a crucial factor in controlling
the spread of viruses and any delay could add to the vulnerability of
The recent dengue virus took two days for diagnosis. As pointed out
during the meeting of the Committee on Epidemics, the Brihan Mumbai
Municipal Corporation does not have kits for the testing of water-poisoning.
During the plague epidemic of 1994, dead rats had to be sent to the
Haffekine Institure, Mumbai, for further analysis and even then the
controversy ensued whether it was really was plague or not. These incidents
clearly highlight the fact that the diagnostic facilities need to be
The department has already issued guidelines and a manual for managing
disaster situations. There are also Grs(what’s a GR??) on “Control
of Epidemics”, a “Malaria Combat Plan”, and special
immunization campaigns such as “Pulse Polio” etc. However,
Maharashtra is yet not free from the threats of epidemics.
Box 1 : Dengue Epidemic
InOctober’96, theepidemic of dengue fever hit Delhi and adjoining regions.By October 20th, 206 people died and 5000 were affected by this
fever.It also resulted in a fear of dengue fever in
Mumbai and some other parts of the state.In the light
of this fear, it is very important to analyse the possible risk of such
disasters in future.
As it is seen, dengue fever is not fatal in itself andcan
be cured with minor medication.However, haemorrhagicform of it is fatal if not promptly treated.The
places which have been affected previously are more prone toa future epidemic of dengue.In Maharashtra, Akola, Aurangabad, Satara, Dhule, Buldhana, Jalana
etc.are the places which had experienced the dengue
epidemic previously. These places are prone to the risk of dengue haemorrhagic
fever, making the surveillancenecessary bythe district health authorities. Virus of dengue is passed on through
‘Aedis Aegipti’ mosquitoes, which breed in stored water.In
Mumbai, there were about 2000 places identified where the larvae for
breeding of these virus was present, according to the Municipal Commissioner
of Mumbai.It makes Mumbai and also adjoining areas of Navi Mumbai and Thane
very much risk prone to dengue fever.
The plague made an impact on Surat in Gujarat in September 1994.,District Beed in Maharashtra also faced the impact of plague.People from these affected area migrated to Mumbai. Because of this
migration, Dahanu, Palghar etc. coastal regions, which are adjacent
to Gujrat border were under a threat of plague.Even Mumbai was under the threat of plague. Thus Mumbai and adjoining regions are risk prone because of
Lack of hygine in the city is also a primal cause of Malaria occurring
every year. Recent cases of food poisoning show that hygiene plays an
important role in controlling health hazards. Inadequacy of toilets
resulting in open defecation, inadequate sewage facilities and problems
in waste management have made the city an unclean one.Garbage
dumps are seen everywhere, inadequate control of rodents, flies, mosquitos
and other pests have made the city vulnerable to epidemics.There are inadequate facilities for storage of water and food
which prepares a breeding ground for viruses of various diseases.
The major health problem, as far as Maharashtra is concerned, is that of
water borne diseases, like gastro-enteritis, choleraand jaundice,
which usually erupt in the form of epidemics. There are other diseases like
Malaria, viral fevers and dengue which are a result of poor environmental
sanitation. However, in the recent past, the state has faced threat of plague.
A high incidence of tuberculosis have also been observed.
Table VIII: List of Epidemics
From the figures showing analysis of the bacteriological quality of water
for the five years from 1984 to 1988, it can be seen that on an average, nearly17 per cent of the samples examined in the urban areas are contaminated.
In the rural areas, the average contamination was much less at 3.20 per cent.
Out of 4360 samples examined in 1988 for water technology mission, 337 samples
(13 per cent) had luoride levels over 1.5 P.P.M.
and Monitoring of Communicable disease
With the view of detecting epidemics at the earliest, an epidemiological
cell has been established under the Jt. Director of Health Services (Pune).
The following epidemics are monitored in Maharashtra:
Acute Diarrohea / Dysentery
In addition to the above, the following outbreaks are also monitored :
The monitoring is in the form of daily epidemic report, weekly health condition
report and monthly report. Each outbreak is supposed to be thoroughly investigated
by the district level staff and the report regarding the action taken to contain
the outbreak, the actiology and the measures to prevent similar occurrences
has to be submitted.
High incidence of water borne diseases, such as gastroenteritis, cholera,
dysentery, infective hepatitis, polio etc., has been observed.This
is mostly due to high contamination of drinking water which comes from heavy
rains, leakages in pipelines, unsatisfactory sanitary conditions, improper
disinfection of water etc. In order to reduce the incidence of water borne
diseases, an action plan,stressing on the training ofvarious levels of officers/workers, certain specific measures for the
control of diarrhoeal diseases and overall health education of the community,
has been prepared.
The map of cholera endemic districts, infective hepatitis endemic districts,
and diarrhoeal diseases endemic districts is given.
Table IX: Information of Attack and Death Due to Cholera, Infective
Hepatitis, Gastro enteritis, Diarrhoeal Diseases and Polio
A booklet, covering all the
practical aspects, on water borne diseases and communicable diseases was to be
published. This would have been useful for M.O., P.H.C. and field staff working
at Primary Health Centres.
Apart from these, the following
programmes are being implemented in the state :
National Family Welfare Programme
National Malarial Eradication
National Filaria Control
National Leprosy EradicationProgramme
National Tuberculosis Control
National Programme for Prevention
and Control of Blindness
National Guinea Worm Eradication
National Goitre Control Programme
Universal Immunization Programme
Minimum Needs Programme
S.T.D. Control, Cancer Control,
Oral Health, AIDS Control, Mental Health Programme.
Malaria and Vector Borne Diseases
The National Malaria Eradication
Programme (NMEP) was initially launched as a control programme in1953to reduce the incidence of malaria in the country by indoor residual spraying
by D.D.T twice a year in highly malaria prone areas, leaving out areas with
spleen rate below 10 per cent. The control programme was changed to eradication
in1958. During the control programme
the incidence of malaria dropped from 75 million cases in 1953 to 2 million
cases in 1958. So also the proportional case rate came down from 10.8 in 1953
to 3.2 in 1958. Thus malaria declined in the country by more than 80 per cent.
In the years between 1984 and 1988, the positive cases of malaria stand at an
average of 70,000 cases every year, where the number of falciparum cases were
at an average of 17,500 cases every year.
The main districts affected by malaria are Thane, Raigad,
Dhule, Nashik, Bhandara, Yavatmal, Amravati, Satara, Chandrapur, Gadchiroli,
Buldhana, Pune, Ahmadnagar, Jalgoan, Nagpur and Wardha. The Annual Parasite
Index for Maharashtrain 1988 stood at 1.2
and has been fluctuating from 0.7 to 1.4 in the previous years.
NMEP was divided into four phases
This programme achieved
remarkable success during the period from 1958 to 1961. The incidence of
malaria came down as low as50,000
cases. But from 1961, the incidence again started rising and in 1976 it rose to
6.467 million cases with 59 deaths.
Therefore in 1977, a modified
plan of operation was implemented with the following objectives :
To prevent deaths due to malaria
To reduce morbidity due to malaria
To retain the achievements of the past
To maintain the industrial and green
The following activities are
undertaken in this programme
For this, the entire area is
first stratified based on the following criteria,
Annual Parasite Index (API)
Irrigation / Projects
and then followed up by active or
All fever cases are given
presumptive treatment with tablet chloroquin and positive cases are given
radical treatment with primaquine for 5 days and chloroquine on 1st
day for facilitating the community. For prompt treatment, drug distribution
centres are opened in all grampanchayats and schools and fever treatment depots
in remote and inaccessible areas. One day radical treatment is given to the
The area for spraying is selected
on the following basis :-
Sections having API 2 and above in one of the last three years
Sections forming contiguous area even though API is below 2
Vulnerable and problem areas
Fringe population in urban areas
Bordering sections to neighbouring states in 16 kilometre belt.
The insecticide used is based on
the entomological and epidemiological study of the district. To contain the
major outbreaks fogging operation is carried out.
IV. Antilarval Measures
For biological control of vectors
measures like elimination of breeding places by minor engineering
interventions, use of guppy fish by developing 10-15 hatcheries, is undertaken.
Telegraphic intimation of local outbreaks
Personal visits by higher authorities to the areas of local outbreaks
Involvement of Gram Panchayat, Panchayat Samiti, Talathis in carrying out anti
At the same time 15 towns have
been covered under the Urban Malaria Scheme. The main activities under this
scheme is antilarval measures by following ways :
Treatment of breeding places with malariol.
Adopting minor engineering measures such as deweeding, desilting, canalisation etc.
c. Biological method like introduction of larvivorous fish.
Because of high rates of incoming migration,the city of Mumbai and adjoining areas of
Thane and Navi Mumbai become highly prone to risks of any such epidemics.
Mumbai is overcrowded, with about
60 per cent of its population staying in slums and dilapidated buildings, which
have inadequate facilities, ventilation, and are highly congested. These
factors add to the risk of epidemics and spread of tuberculosis.
Undernourishment and malnutrition
are other important factors which add to the riskofhealth hazards. Tribal and rural areas of Thane, Raigad and Vidarbha
(Melghat, Gadchiroli etc.)have been
facingthis problem.There have been regular reports of deaths due
to various infections in these areas.It
clearly indicates these areas as high risk prone.
A separate State Health Education
Bureau has been established for undertaking following activities :-
To monitor Health Education activities
conducted at district level.
To procure, distribute and monitor the
Health Education material and equipment.
To undertake field education studies
To publish monthly Health Bulletin
(Arogya Patrika) for continuing education of Health Workers.
To celebrate world Health Day and other
days related to important Health themes.
The bureau has produced and supplied number of Health
Education material such as exhibition sets, audio visual equipment, slide sets,
films, booklets, folders, posters, tin plates to the district and also explored
the new media for publicity such as painting on S.T. buses, display of
Also there are 67 training
institutes in Maharashtra where a number of courses for various levels are
The work on immunisation is done
at various health institutions since 1969, but as a national programme the
expanded programme on immunisation was launched on 1st April, 1978.
Under this programme, immunisation for Diptheria, Pertusis, Tetanus, Polio and
Tuberculosis are given.
The objective of coverage of 65
per cent beneficiaries was envisaged on 19th November, 1985 and the
programme was redesignated as Universal Immunisation Programme (U.I.P) with the
following objectives :-
85 per cent coverage of all
infants with DPT, Polio, BCG, and Measles.
100 per cent coverage of Antenatal
The distinguishing features of
U.I.P are :
Addition of Measles immunisation
Coverage of beneficiaries upto 100 per
Additional inputs by way of cold chain
equipment, vehicles and staff.
Intensive training for health personnel
at all levels.
Monitoring of deaths due to vaccine
Ensuring quality of immunisation services
by proper supervision.
Considering all these factors,
one comes to conclude that Maharashtra is highly prone to epidemic
diseases.Water borne diseases,
tuberculosis, and malaria are the major health hazards.
The state has a system to
forecast epidemic. However, it seems that health facilities at Municipal level
get activated quickly on perception of threat. Thus Mumbai, Navi Mumbai, Pune
etc. corporations made hospital arrangements to face the situation if Dengue strikes.Actions were taken to survey the risk prone
areas and also to control mosquito breeding in various places.Similarly, actions had been also taken for
vector control during the threat of plague in 1994.Planning was done even to set up emergency
laboratories in Mumbai-Nagpur etc. as it was observed in recent threat of
Dengue. The response mechanism to epidemics gears up only after there is a
perception of threatwhich mitigates
therisk ofthe hazard to a certain extent. Essentially,
however,the diagnostic facilities need
to be strengthened.
Roads in India are dangerous by
developed country standards with an annual fatal accident rate of about 2.65
deaths per 1000 registered vehicles with the figure for MaharashtraState being 1.87 (India Transport Sector -
Long Term Issues, March 16, 1995, Infrastructure Operations Division Country
Dept. II - India South Asia Regional Office. World Bank DocumentReport no. 13192 - IN). This compares to a
range of 0.15 (Japan) to 0.38 (France).The generic reasons are poor roads, mixed traffic, unsafe vehicles, poor
driving habits, lack of safety belts and helmets, poor emergency services and
lack of police enforcement.
Data on road accidentsreportedly indicate that 70% of Indian road
accidents arise from driver failure. From this it would follow that the
priority should be in training, screening and certifying bus (and truck) drivers.
However, poor engineering of roads, absence of pedestrian amenities and
mechanical failures can easily be construed as driver failure.The State of Maharashtra has 72,000 km of
National, State and major district roads vs. 376,000 km nationally. The total
number of reported road accidents in Maharashtra and for India as a whole
between 1970-1993 (Source : Motor Vehicles Statistics of India, Govt. of India
Publication, 1994)is shown in Figure
A comparison of the trend in the
number of accidents shows thatfrom
1970-1980 the total number of accidents in India increased by 19%while the counterpart figure for Maharashtra
State was of the order of10%. In the
next ten years between 1980-1990, the respective figures for India and
Maharashtra were 49% and 31% . The rate of increase fell stabilising between
1990-1993 for India as a whole whilein
the case of Maharashtra state, between 1991 and 1993, the figure decreased
sharply by 34%.
On an average in Maharashtra, 134
road accidents reportedly take place everyday leading to81 persons being injured and 15 persons
losing their lives (Pathankar Committee report, 1995). Figure 9 shows a profile
of number of persons killed vs the total number of road accidents that have
occurred in Maharashtra between 1970 and 1996.
Road accidents, for the purpose
of the Disaster Management Action Plan include all forms of motor vehicle
accidents involvingtwo / three/ four
wheeler passenger vehicles, vehicles carrying goods including hazardous
substances. These accidents may lead to injuries and fatalities to pedestrians,
bystanders and/or passengers.
Discussions with officials of the
State Traffic Police Department and secondary data obtained from the same
office indicated that there are 107 accident prone spots on National Highways
serving the State and50 on Maharashtra
State Highways.A distribution of these
accident prone spots on the national highways is shown in Table X below while
figure 10 shows a comparison in the accident status on the various types of
roads in the state.
Table X: The distribution ofaccident prone spots on the National and
No. of accident prone spots
No. of accident prone spots
The data clearly shows that NH 4,
Mumbai-Pune highway is the most vulnerable to accidents. This highway has the
maximum traffic density and the main cause of accidents on this highway
apparently was due to carelessness of drivers especially during overtaking.
These observations are reflected in newspaper reports which formed the basis of
a traffic safety exercise conducted in Thane district. Box-2 below shows an
extract froma recentnewspaper item.
Box -2 - Road accidents on Maharashtra’sMajor National Highways
Source : December, 15, 1996,
Times of India
“The high accident rate on the
major national highways of the State shown in Table 1-A has catalysedthe commencement of a month long (from Dec.
17, 1997) strict vigil campaign on the major national and statehighways passing through Thane.
HighwayYearTotal Number of Accidents
Source : Safe-T drive plan
aims at road discipline for all - Times of India Dec. 15, 1996”
The various reasons attributed
for the road accidents have beendiscussed extensively by two committee reports viz., the Pathankar
Committee report and the Sinha Committee report. Some of themajor findings of these committee reports are
The State has about 1,77,000 km
of roads but more than 20% of the road length is unsurfaced. Many roads have
become substandard due to paucity of funds. As a result,
substantial length of district
roads is poorly maintained
length of the surfaced roads is
only about 79% of the total network
about 13.6% of villages in the
State are without road link
large number of missing links in
the NH grid
a number of bridges need to be
widened and strengthened
substantial length of single lane
roads are to be widened as two lanes
A disproportionateincrease in traffic volume both passenger and
goods and in the number of different kinds of vehicles in the country has taken
place vis-a-vis the growth of the number and type of roads.
Passenger traffic, in the case of
road transport, has reportedly gone up from a level of 23 to 3000 billion
passenger km from 1951-1991 marking a 130 fold increase. Similarly goods
traffic has increased by 91 times. Table XI depicts the increase in vehicle
population in Maharashtrain the last
forty years. In Maharashtra, the total number of registered vehicles has grown
by about 54 times during this period with maximum percentage rise in vehicle population
recorded between 1961 and 1971 of 206.6% andbetween 1981 and 1991 of222.4%.
Table XI: Vehicle population in
As against these figures, the
registered increase in road network has been only 3.3 fold as shown in Table
Table XII: Road Length in
Road length (000 kms.)
The data shows that between
1980-81 and 1991-92, there have been no new national highways while there has
been a substantial increase in thestate
highways, major district roads, other roads and village roads.
This is of significance
especially with respect to the increasing pressure on national highwayssince they are used not only to transport
passengers but also goods, chemicals etc. Moreover they serve as feeders to ports,
and railwaystations in the transport of
freight across States. In the total road length,NH is only 1.7% . Because of grossly
inadequate length these NHs carry about 40% of the total traffic in the State.
An illustrative case study of the National Highway is shown in Box -3.
Box -3:Hazards on National Highways -A Case Study of NH 8 adapted from a study
by Loss Prevention Association of India.
The route :
NH 8 links Mumbai to Delhi
passing through important cities and trade centres viz., Vadodara, Ahmedabad,
Ajmer, Jaipur to name a few.
Rapid growth of vehicular
traffic on this roadaccompanied by an
increase in accidents at an alarming rate.
The accident prone areawas identifiedby General Insurance Corporation of India
and All India Motor Transport Congress as the stretch fromVasai to Talasari.
LPA was asked to study the
referred stretch and suggest suitable measures to mitigatethishazard.
Observations from the study :
Road Characteristics : The stretch under study is about 100 kms
in length with width varying between 22’-0” and 24’-0” with arolling terrain. There are sharp curves,
hairpin bends, steep slopes and culverts at some places. The road in this
stretch is two-lane (total), two-way without a divider and the surface is
Many sharp curves and hairpin
bends appearedto have insufficient or
incorrect extra widening and superelevation which may have been the cause of
head-on-collisions and overturnings at sharp bends.
Absence ofstable parapet walls atmany of the culverts.
Inadequate carriage-way width
and lack of stabilised shoulders did not permit parking of vehicles during
accidents / breakdowns, thus preventing free flow of traffic.
Traffic Characteristics : Heterogeneous road traffic comprising
mainly of heavy vehiclessuch as
trucks, tankers, buses and some over-dimensional vehicles. Types of cargo
transported ranged from strawtomanufactured vehicles as well ashazardous chemicals and petroleum products.
Average travel speed observed
on straight alignmentwas 70 kmph in
the case of heavy and medium motor vehicles and 80 kmph in case of light
motor vehicles. On sloped bends, the average speed was 40 kmph in the case of
the former and 50 kmph in the latter case.
Traffic Control Measures : Numerous Tee - junctions at an average
ofone for every two kms. However,
none of the Tee-junctions had singnals..
No arrangement for checking
speed limit violations.
No patrolling by the highway
Only one Traffic Aid Post was
located on this stretch maintained primarily for clearing bottlenecks on the
highway during movement of VIPs.
Insufficient number of traffic
signs along the highway. The existing ones were rusted and corroded.
Placement ofmandatory and cautionary
signs at road bends were erroneous at many locations.
No part of the highway between
Vasai and Talasari was marked with road marking paints to indicate
carriage-way centre-lines or lane-lines.
Existing Roadside Facilities and other services
In the stretch under study,
available facilities such as petrol pumps, refreshment centres, garages for
minor repairs, first aid centre, ambulances etc. were found to be inadequate.
Absence of a big garage for
undertaking repairs in the event of a major breakdown.
Telephones located in very few
places and not in working condition for use of .
First-Aid centres manned by
Road Accident Characteristics
Accidents were of types :
single vehicle accidents and head on collisions. The main causes of the
former were brake failures, tyre bursts, overloading of vehicles. In the
latter case, the frequency was higher at sharp road bends, particularly blind
The accident prone sites were
identified as :
a) Between Vasai and Manor (45
b) Between Manor and Charoti
c) Between Charoti and Talasari
alignments were as vulnerable as bends from the accident point of view.
Number of accidents were more during the early morning hours when traffic
flow was predominantly towards Mumbai.
Based on this study LPAI had
made a number of recommendations for improvement of this stretch, which is
Table XIII provides a comparison
between road lengths, number of vehicles and no. of accidents between the years
Table XIII: Road lengths, number of
vehicles and no. of accidents between the years 1970-1992.
Road length (000 km)
No. of Accidents
No. of vehicles
The data in the table shows a
maximum increase by 224% in the number of vehicles between 1981-1991. The
corresponding increase in total road length for this period is only 21%. This
disparity in change in the number of vehicles and the road length is reflected
inthe number of accidents havingincreased by 42% during this period.
Between 1971-1981, on the other
hand, the number ofvehicles rose
by172%whileaccidentsincreased by12%.The road length,
however,was increasedby 117%.
There are basic design
deficiencies in road alignment, which is compounded by poor repairs and
maintenance.Another contributoryfactorto deterioration of the condition of roads is encroachment.On the national highways, many sections and
bridges require widening. Basic road safety requirements such as road markings,
traffic signs etc. are inadequate.
The quality of road surface is
measured by a “Roughness Index” (RI) expressed in terms ofmillimetres per kilometre. An index of 2000
mm is needed for good riding quality. More than 4000 mm isregarded as unacceptable.In USA, the road is resurfaced when the index
exceeds 2500 mm vis-à-vis the Indian situation where even freshly laid roads
reportedlyhave an RI exceeding 2,500
mm. Manually constructed roads start with an RI of 4000 to 8000 mm while
machine laid roads start with an RI between 2000 and 3000 mm.
Some of the most risk prone
roadsare the ghat roads. Parapet walls
damaged in the ghats are not renewed or repaired for 2-3 years.
On city roads, some of the main
problemsleading to accidents are:
presence of hoardings at
intersections and crossings which distract vision and hamper the smooth flow of
encroachment on roads by
potholes during repair of
roadsleft exposed for long periods;
poor street lighting;
pedestriansdisobeyingtraffic rules; and
provision of speed breakers
without adopting Indian Road Congress’s design standard.
Inadequate traffic management on
the highwaysis a factor contributing to
accidents and traffic congestions. There are inadequate essential amenities
such as parking facilities for refueling, repairing andresting.
Poor maintenance of vehicles with
a large percentage not being road-worthy and lack of fitness of tyres leads to
skidding are other major causes of accidents.
The number of well designed and
well-equipped vehicle repair workshops are inadequate. Dependence is largely on
unauthorised workshops with poorly trained mechanics, scanty equipment andpoor quality of spare parts.
Overloaded vehicles, especially
on city roads, accelerate the damages to roads and movement of these overloaded
cargo vehicles causes a number of accidents.
Vehicular lighting system is
anothermajor cause of accidents during
the night, monsoon or thick smog. On unlit highways, due to poor visibility
andglare of oncoming vehicles,
accidents are common.
Two thirds of the accidents in
the state are apparently due to driver negligence, rash driving and lack of
adequately trained drivers. Two wheeler drivers are more vulnerable to injuries
and fatalities compared to motor vehicle occupants.
An examination of the primary
cause of motor vehicle accidents in the state for the year 1995, (figure 11)
shows that the predominant cause of accidents isthe fault of the driver.
This may be due to illegal
overtaking which stems mainly from a lack of awareness of traffic rules or
over-speeding by drivers. A case in point to illustrate the latter isshown in the case study in Box-4.
Box - 4Road accident due to
Source : Times of India 14 and
The death of seventy passengers
travelling to Nashik in an MSRTC bus was caused when the bus plunged into the
Kadawa river.The accident occurred
due to over-speeding by the driver. Compensation to the victims and to
families of victims was announced by the Maharashtra state govt. to the tune
of Rs. 50,000 to the next of kin of deceased, and Rs. 2000 towards funeral
Rescue and relief was provided
by police, assisted by local villagers. First aid was provided on site and
the victims were taken toNashik civil
hospital. Cranes were provided by MSRTC, the army and a private agency to
pull out the bus.
A compilation of newspaper
clippings of various road accidents that have occurred in the state in the last
ten years reflectingthe various causes
of accidents, is placed as Table XIV.
Table XIV: A compilation ofnewspaper clippings ofthe major reported road accidents that
occurred between 1985 and 1996 in Maharashtra State.
Reasons of Occurrence
Tankercarrying liquefiednatural gas overturned at Dahanu.
The reason for the death and
injury was that the LNG caught fire. As a result, nearby hutments and the
residents were engulfed.
Truck carrying Naphtha
overturned on Eastern Express Highway.
The truck overturned due to the
bad condition of roads. Slum dwellers mistook the naphtha for kerosene and
started collecting it. The naphtha caught fire resulting in the deaths.
Road accident involving a ST
bus and truck at Tiswa, 40 km from Amravati.
The ST bus rammed atruck on NH 6.The bus driver tried to overtakea truck and collided with a second truck
coming from the opposite direction.
ST bus plunged into Kadawa
River near Nashik.
Overspeeding by the driver.
Trailer containing chlorine gas
cylinders collided with a truck at Vasai.
Deaths and injuries occurred
due to the explosion of the chlorine gas cylinders which affected 1200 odd
villages on the Mumbai-Ahmedabad Highway.
ST bus accident on Mumbai-Pune
Reasons of Occurrence
Bus accidentnear Savitri River, Mahad.
A Goa-Mumbai bus skidded from
the highway due to rain and poor visibility and fell into the flooded Savitri
Bus accident between Khardi and
The private bus with passengers
rolled off a bridge between Khardi andKasara.
Bus accident near Asangaon.
A ST busflipped over as the driver tried to avoid
hitting a two-year old girl crossing the road.
Lorry rams into slums at Sewri.
Driver lost control of vehicle.
Bus accident at Khambataki
Ghat, 60 km from Satara.
A Belgaum-Mumbai bus fell into
a 150 m deep ditch in the Khambataki Ghat.
Petrol spill from tanker, Satara.
Tanker overturned and caught
involving Hazardous substance transport
Hazardous substance transport
also poses a major accident risk. The record of accidents reported involving
motor vehicles transporting hazardous substances in the state in 1993 and 1994,
is represented graphically in figure 12. These accidents constitute 0.4-0.6% of
the total road accidents that occurred in the state during these two years.
The four most important highways
which have a high traffic density, both with respect to transport ofpassengers and hazardous / non-hazardous
goods, and which have a high incidence of accidents are :
Accidents involving motor
vehicles carrying dangerous or hazardous substances, often result in the
leakage of gases or spillage of liquids.In a large number of cases, this is reportedly not due to the tanker
construction, but due to a leaky discharge faucet. Availability of provisions
in the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988, Central Motor Vehicles Rules, 1989, Petroleum
Act, 1934 and Petroleum Rules, 1976, under the Explosives Act , 1884, for
transport of hazardous substances- inadequate.
Both the Motor Vehicles Act,
1988, and Central Motor Vehicles Rules, 1989, together make only one provision
with specific reference to drivers of vehicles transporting hazardous chemicals
/ substances. Statutes regarding the license provision and renewal,
medicalexaminationto assess fitness, training etc. for drivers
are grossly inadequate.
Another factor that increases the
risk due to accidents related to hazardous substances transport is that the
fire brigade personnel, except in Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR),are reportedly not adequately trained to
deal with gas leakage and other chemical accidents. Additionally, there are
inadequate medical facilities on highways to deal with such specificaccidents, thereby exacerbating the risks.
The main agency responsible for
taking spot action in the event of a road accident in the state is the Traffic
Police. The various emergencyservices
likely to be involved in accident management are the, fire brigades, ambulance
services, medical aid facilities and vehicle salvage services.
The officials to be contacted
immediately on occurrence of an accident are the district collector of the
district, tahsildar of the taluka, deputy / assistant regional transport
officer under whose jurisdiction the area lies.
Accident rescue and relief
facilities such as towing services, medical attendants, ambulances etc. are
conspicuous by their absence.
In the past there were 25 Police
Aid Posts on the national highway, equipped with wireless facilities, first aid
etc., for accident relief. In addition there were eleven state highway posts.
Recently, the state govt. has
approved the proposal by the state police department to merge these posts to
form 36 Police Aid Posts. These posts will be fully equippedwith adequate first aid and medical
facilities and wireless sets for immediate communication in the event of an
accident. Additional forklifts to clear the traffic in the case of an accident
thereby preventing traffic congestion have also been proposed.
Provisions therefore have been made under section 140 of the Motor Vehicles
Act, 1988 for compensation to accident victims. An alternative and more reliable
means of obtaining compensation has been devised by General Insurance Corporation.
According to this scheme, elaborated in box-5,compensation can
be obtained within a time bound schedule of two months from the date of application
and in any case within six months from the date of accident.
Box -5 Compensation for Road
Accidents - Insurance Claims
Source : Blitz Weekly 16/3/94
Prior to March 1992,
compensation for motor vehicle accident victims were provided by approaching
the Motor Accident Claims Tribunal established under the Fatal Accidents Act,
1885, and Motor Vehicles Act 1939. However, the compensation was assured
after an inordinate delay.
In this connection, General
Insurance Corporation introduced a novel scheme called Jald Rahat Yojanafrom March, 1992. At present, this scheme
is being introduced only for non-fatal bodily injuries occurring through road
accidents. The yojana aims at offering compensation within a time bound
schedule of two months from the date of application and in any case within
six months from the date of accident.
The amount of compensation is
decided by a panel consisting of a retired judge, a medical practitioner and
a retired executive of an insurance company who jointly examineindividual cases on a regular basis.
The actual settlement of
compensation is speedy, since the claimants do not have to go through
courtproceedings. Between March 1992
and March 1994, 63 claims have been settled in Mumbai.
The salient conclusions of the assessment are as follows :
A number of factors such as,
poor design,operation and maintenance of roads,
non-roadworthy condition of a
large number ofvehicles,
disproportionate increase inroad length and number of vehiclesand a
lack of awareness of road safety
and carelessness of drivers
have contributed tothe high
incidence ofroad accidents in the
state. However, the most notable among these appearto be due to the fault of the driver.
The roads that are vulnerable to
accidents are the state and national highways with 50 and 107 accident prone
locations, respectively. These spots have been identified by the state traffic
police based on history ofroad accident
There is a need to provide for
emergency medical assistance especially on highways. Accident rescue and relief
facilities such as towing services, medical attendants, ambulances etc. are
also conspicuous by their absence.
Recently, the state govt. has
approved the proposal by the state police department to upgrade Police Aid
Posts and fully equip themwith adequate
first aid and medical facilities, wireless sets for immediate communication in
the event of an accident. Additional forklifts to clear the traffic in the case
of an accident thereby preventing traffic congestion have also been proposed.
In the case of accidents involving
transport of hazardous substances, the relief and rescue measures are
inadequate. Fire brigade personnel, except in MMR region,are reportedly not adequately trained to
deal with gas leakage and other chemical accidents.Moreover, medical facilities on highways are
Training courses are provided for
drivers of hazardous goods transporting vehicles by NOCIL, HPCL, Thane
Manufacturers Association and Herdillia Chemicals. These are 3 day courses
prior to getting the license, with a one day refresher course every year. There
is a need for more institutions of this nature.
Fires could be caused by
explosions, chemical reactions, short circuits in the electrical systems etc.
These occurrences could be due to carelessness, inadequate safety precautions
or intentional arson and sabotage. The risks due to fire hazards could vary
depending upon the level of preparedness of the emergency services, fire
services and medical services.
Maharashtra is one of the states
which does not have a State Fire Service. Presently, all fire stations are
under the jurisdiction of the respective municipalities. There are 233
municipal councils and13 municipal corporations
in Maharashtra. Of these, fire tenders are maintained in 96 councils and 12
The data on the number offire calls attended by the fire services in
the state is published every five years in the form of a red book. The latest
edition (for 1992-1996) is under preparation. According to the records
published for the period 1987-1991, the number of fire calls and rescue calls
attended by the various fire services in the state are as follows :
No. of fire calls attended 8722
No. of special rescue calls
Some of the major fire accidents
recorded in Maharashtrain the last 10
years, based on newspaper articles, are compiled and shown in Table XV.
Table XV: Major Fire Accidents
reported in Maharashtra State
(Source : newspaper
Reasons of Occurrence
Telco Plant, Pimpri
Fire at Dongri
Fire broke out in a two storey building
Soap factory at Mazgaon
Raw material worth lakhs of rupees destroyed
Fire broke out in the godown
The inside of the hall completely destroyed
Fire broke out in a house
Hotel in Dharavi
LPG blast in the hotel
Bhiwandi, Thane District
150 huts destroyed
Chikhalthane village, Solapur
Explosion in a godown storing firecrackers sparked
by a flash released frombursting of
Ganesh Murthy Nagar slums
180 huts gutted
Estimated loss to Telecom Dept. is Rs. 1 crore
Short circuitor a burning up of the air conditioning ‘s unclean, choked filters.
Short circuit in the electrical fittings of the
house keeping pantry.
Cama Industrial Estate, Mumbai
About 100 industrial units manufacturing plastics
and garments and a printing press were gutted.
Mambatiwala Chawl, Nagpada
Building collapse, apart of Bldg. No. 47, collapsed.
As seen from the table,most of the reported accidents are in the
city of Mumbai and the various reported causes of these accidents, are mainly
due to inadequate safety of electrical installations, inadequate fire safety
measures to deal with chemical and LPG fires as well as careless practices
while handling and storage ofinflammable materials.
Fire hazards, for the purpose of
this study, include fires due to chemicals, LPG, explosives as well as short circuit
of electrical systems. However, while assessing the resource needs of the state
fire services, it must be considered that these services are also used in
rescue operations during building collapses. Additionally, the fire
department’s services are also required in rescue and relief operations in
fires caused byaccidents involving
hazardous inflammable substances.
Unlike in the case of hazards,
such as floods or road accidents, definition of specific vulnerable spots is
not possible. However, a broad definition of the type of locations where there
is a potential of fire hazard can be identified. Some of these areas are :
Storage areas of flammable /
explosive material in the vicinity of populated areas.
Hotels and restaurants in crowded
areas using improper practices of storage of cooking fuel such as LPG, kerosene
especially in cities, with inadequate fire safety measures.
Narrow lanes, congested,
overcrowded buildings, old buildings with poor internal wiring.
Some of the major fire related
accidents are discussedin greater
detail in the form of case studies in Boxes 6 and 7 to understand thereasons for same.
Box -6 - Fire due to LPG
Source : Times of India - 1/6/92.
LPG cylinder blast resulted in
a fire at ahotel in Dharavi killing
21 persons. The cause of the accident was gas leakage from an LPGcylinder.
A post accident review of the
safety aspectsrevealed that four LPG
cylinders and two pressure stoves fueled by kerosene were lined up together,
thereby creating a potentially hazardous situation. The main cause of the
accident, as registered, was due to negligence on the part of the owner of
the hotel. Apparently, the gas installation was not official and the gas
regulators did not bear the seal ofany of the standard approved gas companies. There was only one
entrance / exit from the hotel which was blockedby the fire.
Rescue operations commenced
with the arrival of the fire brigade within 12 minutes of the accident.
The main observations on
analysis of the case are :
conditioncreated by placing LPG
cylinders in close proximity to kerosene stoves.
The gas installation was not a
by standard, approvedgas company
Availability of only one exit
which also served as the entrance aggravated the situation.
The accident could have been
avoided by maintaining asafe gas
installation andbasic precautions
such as not placing kerosene stoves in close proximity to gas cylinders, thus
ensuring safe working conditions.
Box -7 -Fire due to faulty electricalsystem.
Source : Times of India - 19/5/96.
Over8,000 sq. ft. of the heritage GPO building
was burnt down when a fire sparked off in a faulty air conditioner in the
conference room in the telecom section.
The various reasons attributed
to the fire are :
Burningof the AC’s uncleaned filters,
Lack ofregular inspection and overhaul of thedepartment’s electrical system.
The telecom employees did not
use the fire fighting equipment available at the premises, even asa preliminarymeasure before thearrival of the fire service.Loss of documentation and property may have
been minimised if this emergency response action had been taken. The fire
department officials felt that due to a lackof emergency drills, the employees panicked andwere unable to react in such an emergency.
The post accident analysis
revealedthe following :
A gross neglect offire safety measures and insurance in a
number of heritage buildings in the city of Mumbai.
Electric installations and the
wiring is not regularly checked and replaced. This negligence frequently
leads to short circuits, which are a great fire hazard.
Safety measures like accessible
fire escapes,smoke detectors and
water sprinklers are also absent.
A number of the heritage
buildings also do not have a general insurance against fire.
In addition to the reasons
discussed in the two case studies above, the risks due to fire accidents are
compounded by the following :
In Mumbai and other cities, fire
fighters face severe problems due to the narrow lanes, congested, overcrowded
buildings, old buildings andpoor
Since the fire services are under the jurisdiction of respective municipalities,
movement from one municipality to another requires official administrative procedures,
resulting in delay in providing assistance across municipalities. This could
result in elevation ofthe risk levels.
Maharashtra is one of the states
which does not have a state fire service. All fire stations areunder the jurisdiction of the municipalities.
There are 233 municipal councils and13
municipal corporations in Maharashtra. Of these, fire tenders are maintained in
96 councils and 12 corporations. Presently, a proposal is being prepared to
include all fire stations, except Mumbai, under the State Fire Department, with
district and taluka level fire offices.
The fire stations fall under the
jurisdiction of the Urban Development Department, unlike in other states where
the fire stations are under the State Fire Department, which is within the
jurisdiction of the department of Home Affairs.
The facilities in each fire
station are proportionate to the municipality’s financial position. However,
due to a paucity offunds in most
municipalities, except Mumbai and other metro cities in the state, the fire stations
are poorly equipped. Presently, loans are being provided through General
Insurance Company to municipalities by the govt. of Maharashtra to equip the
Human resource capacity building
is done through regular training programmes. The senior officers are trained at
the training college in Nagpur. Field level firemen from all over Maharashtra
have to mandatorily undergo training at the State Training Centre at
Vidyanagri, Mumbai. The content and duration of the courses are as follows :
3-6 month duration courses.
Practical and theoretical courses
with training, onthe various methods of
fire fighting and equipment used.
Somepractical experiences, especially with
respect to fire fighting practices for high rise buildings, are imparted with
assistance from Mumbaifire dept.
The strength of the StateTraining Centre is 19 with only two trainers.
There is a need for more equipment, training facilities and hostel facilities
to provide training to larger groups ofrecruits since the current capacity is 25 per batch. A proposal has been
sent to the govt. of Maharashtra for upgradation of facilities at the training
centre. Community awareness programmeson fire safety are also organised by the State Training Centre.
The status offire service related resources in Maharashtra
as of 1991, are shown in table XVI.
Table XVI:Status of Fire Services in Maharashtra State
Status of resource
Number of FireStations
Number of Pumping Units
(includes fire engines)
Asst. Station Officers
Source : State Fire Training Centre, Mumbai.
* Admissible resource indicates
the sanctioned number of posts
** This is governed by norms
establishedby the Fire Advisory
Council, Ministry of Home Affairs, Govt. of India. According to these
norms,the number of pumping units (PU)
is a function of the population as follows :
1 PU per 50,000 population4 PU for a
population of 200,000
2 PU upto a population of100,000 5
PU for a population of 250,000
6 PU for a population of300,000 and so on.
In addition to combating fire
related hazards,the fire fighting
services are also required during building collapses, road accidents, and
chemicalhazards. The need, therefore,
for a well equipped, well maintained and adequate fire service cannot be
There is aneed for a common Fire Brigade Act, adopted
by all local municipal governments, which would ensure certain standards of
fire services with state support and enable the fire brigade to reach out
Presently, each municipal corporation has its own set of rules regarding the
fire brigade, and this affects relief and rescue operations across the state.
Fire services are required in
smaller districts and talukas and there is aneed for a government regulation to simplify bureaucratic procedures to
enable fire services to travel across municipal limits.
Streamlining of fire service
operations across the state is required.
There is a need for immediate
communication after fire accidents, granting of blanket permission during
emergencies and upgradation by providing wireless and computer systems.
Mapping of areas prone to fire
accidents based on the frequency of occurrence of these hazards, is necessary.
The main causes of fires in the
state are inadequate safety of electrical installations, inadequate fire safety
measures to deal with chemical and LPG fires as well as careless practices while
handling and storage ofinflammable
materials. Additionally in cities, old buildings andcongested areas aggravate the risks due to
Industrial hazards, like natural
disasters, can be understood in terms of their occurrence in time and place,
how they affect social units and how these units take responsive actions to
mitigate disaster consequences.
The off-site impacts of
industrial accidents and other hazards such as fire or natural disasters, often
lead to loss of human life, property,financial damage and considerable environmental pollution. The severity
of these disasters occurring in a developing country like India is increased
due to high levels of poverty, illiteracy, inadequate housing structures,
under-resourced health services, lack of expertise in training and planning for
risks and hazards, necessary support structures and finance from relevant
organisations for the rehabilitation of victims. Both preventing and mitigating
effects of crisis depend upon the improvements made in the above areas.
Some of the major off-site
industrial accidents that have occurred in Maharashtraare compiled from newspaper clippings and
shown in Table XVII below. Appendix IV provides a case study of the two major
industrial accidents at IPCL and BPCL.
Table XVII: Industrial and Chemical
Reasons of Occurrence
Ammonia Gas leak from RCF, Chembur, Mumbai.
2/3/85 to 4/3/85
Faulty cooling tower.
Ammonia storage tankat the Trombay complex not maintained under suitable conditions.
Chlorine Gas leakage at Chembur, Mumbai.
Leakage of toxic chlorine gas from a corroded
valve in oneofthethree highly corroded chlorine tanks housed in
a shed in the barbed wire compound.
Fire at BPCL refinery, Mumbai.
Explosion followed by fire at IPCL, Nagothane.
Damage to roofing, pipe racks and street girders
Leakage of ethylene gas with an unconfined
vapour cloud formation and explosion.
Possible reasons for leakage :
(i)failureof a nozzle to flange weld on the exchanger ,or
(ii)loss of sealability of the flange unit between the aluminium flange
of the exchanger and steelflange of jumpover line.
Century Rayon, Kalyan-Thane belt.
Reasons of Occurrence
Essar Shipping tanker spilled
100 tonnes of crude oil at Butcher island.
Oil spill at Bombay High by
A three mile long water stretch
on the Murud - Janjira beach affected.
Due to external corrosion at
the Splash Zone on the rise pipe thatruptured
Acetylene gas cylinder
explosion in godown at Lowist Wadi, Thane.
Explosion in a factory at
Explosion at the army
ammunition factory at Khadki near Pune.
The pyrotechnic section was
burnt down in a major fire.
1000 litres of furnace oil
leaked in Jawaharlal Nehru Port, Nhava Sheva.
Marine life was affected.
Ship was dmaged.
Oil leak during bunkering
Fire at BPCL, Mahul.
Losses worth Rs. 20 crores
Bomb blast in Garware Polyester
The factory with a turnover of
Rs. 250 crores was completely gutted.
Police felt it was due to
Management felt it was
Industrial accidents may occur as
a result of natural phenomena, such as earthquakes, forest fires etc., however,
most accidents occur as a result of human activity leading to accidental or
deliberate harm. Although there are a number of different definitions of these
accidents, the most practical appears to be as follows : any incident connected
with an uncontrolled development (such as leak, fire and /or explosion) of an
industrial activity involving a serious immediate or delayed hazard to man and
/ or the environment. This is summarised in table XVIII below.
Misuse of or failure to control hazardous material.
Arson / malicious act.
(Source :Natural Risk and Civil
Protection, Ed. by T. Horlick-Jones, A. Amendola, Casale, R, E&FN Spon,
Industrial hazards are most
likely due to accidents occurring during chemical processing, manufacturing,
storage, transport and from the disposal of toxic waste as described in the
table below :
Examples of potentially hazardous circumstances
In the workplace, industrial plant, manufacturing site, higher education
facility and research labs.
In warehouses, chemical stores, silos, storage tanks.
On the public highway, railway, waterway, shipping and
Freight handling areas oftransport systems, such as harbour, airport or station.
Disposal of potentially toxic waste by dumping or incineration,
knowledge of toxic waste and landfill sites.
For the purpose ofpreparation of
an emergency action plan for the state of Maharashtra, the focus would be on
off site industrial accidents. The Directorate of Industrial Safety and Health
maintains records of industrial accidents in Maharashtra. By definition,
however, these records include accidents due to chemical incidents as well as
mechanical. Records of injuries toworkerswhile on duty, such as
fall from height etc. are also included.
In view of the fact that the focus of the present plan is on developing
emergency action plans for off site accidents, the available data from the
Directorate of Industrial Safety and Health wasscreened to select only accidents that have occurreddue to explosions, fires and gassing in
select industries viz., manufacture of chemicals and chemical products, rubber,
coal, petroleum and non-metallic mineral petroleum. These three causative
factors and the specific industries have been selected, since they have the
maximum potential for significant off-site impacts.
Directorate of Industrial Safety and Health is compiling the records of
industrial accidents, year wise.Compiled information for various divisions in the state was available in
1995. This accident record was screened to select the statistics with respect
to fatal and non-fatal accidents in certain categories of industries. It must
be emphasized at this juncture that this does not providea comprehensive
picture of the vulnerability of locations or the type of industries which are
potentially hazardous. However, this provides some preliminary information on
the likely hazard potential due to specific industries,causative factors, as well as indicates the likely areas in the
state which may be vulnerable to industrial hazards. A more detailed
information database is necessary, which is being collected presently for each
XIXshows the number of accidents
recorded in industries involving manufacture of chemicals and chemical
products, rubber, coal,petroleum and
non-metallic mineral petroleum.
Table XIX: Number of Fatal and
Non-Fatal Accidents* recorded in 1995 for specific categories of industries.
Name of Office
Category of Industries**
- Fatal; NF - Non-Fatal
The fatal and non-fatal accidents shown in this table are only those recorded
due toexplosions, fires and gassing.
Category of Industries are :
No.30 Manufacture of
chemical and chemical products
No.31 Manufacture of
rubber, coal and petroleum
No.32 Manufacture of
non-metallic mineral petroleum
As seen from table,the maximum number ofaccidents in all the selected categories of
industries are recorded in Thane and Mumbai. The industry category showing
maximum number of accidents and fatalities is the manufacture of rubber, coal
Nashik, Mumbai and Thane
divisions have recordedthe maximum
number ofaccidents in industries
manufacturing chemicaland chemicalproducts. The number ofaccidents recorded in the manufacture ofnon-metallic mineral petroleum are almost
halfof those recorded in the other two
order to understand the hazard potential of each of the selected
categoriesof industry, a list of fatal
and non-fatal accidents was compiled. Table XX shows the record of accidents
for industriesin the manufacture of
chemical and chemical products.
Table XX: Number of Fatal and
Non-Fatal Accidents* recorded in 1995 in the
industries belonging to category
of Manufacture of Chemical and Chemical Products
(Industry No. 30)
Name of Office
Cause of Accident **
- Fatal; NF - Non-Fatal
The fatal and non-fatal accidents shown in this table are only those recorded
due toExplosions, Fires, Gassing.
Causes of Accidents are :
118 Explosions due to
electricity, fire works, excessive pressure of steam,air, gas, vapour etc.,
119 fires include backfire
in boilers and others miscellaneous
data in tableshows that the maximum
number of accidents have occurred due to gassing. Raigad division shows the
maximum number of accidents due to gassing in industries manufacturing chemical
and chemical products.In this category
of industrie,s accidents due to explosions were maximum at Thane while fire
related accidents at Nashik.
XXIshows the recorded accidents in
1995, in the category of industries termed Manufacture ofrubber, coal and petroleum.
Table XXI: Number of Fatal and
Non-Fatal Accidents* recorded in 1995 in the industries belonging to the
category of Manufacture of Rubber, Coal and Petroleum
(Industry No. 31)
Name of Office
Cause of Accident **
- Fatal; NF - Non-Fatal
The fatal and non-fatal accidents shown in this table are only those recorded
due toexplosions, fires, gassing.
Causes of accidents are :
118 Explosions due to
electricity, fire works, excessive pressure of steam
and air, gas, vapour etc., Miscellaneous
119 fires include backfire
in boilers and others;
As shown in table XXI , although
Thane and Raigad divisions have the largest major industrial beltsin the state, there are no recorded accidents
in 1995, in these two divisions. Aurangabad division, however, shows the
maximum number ofaccidents both, fatal
and non-fatal, due to explosions. Additional information on, distribution of
types of industries in the state would be required to make a more qualified
assessment of the results. This information would be obtained through the
district level data which is being elucidated from the district collectors.
belonging to the category of manufacture ofnon-metallic mineral petroleum have not recorded accidents in any of the
divisions during 1995, except in Thane where two non- fatal accidents have been
recorded due to explosions and fires. This data is represented in table XXII .
Table XXII: Number of Fatal and
Non-Fatal Accidents* recorded in 1995 in the industries belonging to the
category of Manufacture of Non-Metallic Mineral Petroleum
(Industry No. 32)
Name of Office
Cause of Accident **
- Fatal; NF - Non-Fatal
The fatal and non-fatal accidents shown in this table are only those recorded
due toexplosions, fires, gassing.
Causes of accidents are :
118 Explosions due to
electricity, fire works, excessive pressure of steam
and air, gas, vapour etc., miscellaneous
119 fires include backfire
in boilers and others
In addition to the data provided above, a review of the causes of off-site
accidents that have been reported in Maharashtra state as shown in Table XXII,
indicatesthat a large number of them are due to negligence of the management
with respect to safety of equipment, processes and storage. This is compounded
by faulty equipment and poor housekeeping. All these factors make a number of
the industries, especially chemical and petrochemical industries extremely hazard
prone and the surrounding environment vulnerable to industrial accidents. Two
cases in point to illustrate this are discussed in Boxes 7 and 8.
types of industries prone to accidents are those involved in the manufacture of
Chemical and chemical products
Rubber, coal and petroleum
Non-Metallic Mineral Petroleum
As seen from thedata,the most vulnerable areas are Thane, Mumbai, Puneand Nashik.
causes of accidents as recorded in these industries are due to :
Explosions resulting fromelectricity, fire, excessive pressure of
steam and air, gas, vapour etc;
Fires including backfire in
boilers and others;
Raigad division shows the maximum
number of accidents due to gassing.Explosions were maximum at Thane and Aurangabad, while fire related
accidents were most at Nashik.
terms of the occurrence of accidents with potential off site consequences, the
vulnerablelocations areMumbai, Thane, Raigad, Nashikand Pune districts. The types of industries
in these locations which have a high potential for accidents, are those
involving manufacture of chemicals and chemical products, rubber, coal and
petroleum and non-metallic mineral petroleum. The given mapdetails the MIDC industrial area in the state
along with the level of development.
Box-7 - Gas leakage due to negligence during storage.
Source : Indian Express, 5/3/85
Ammonia gas leaked from the RCF
plant at Chembur for three days from March 2-4, 1985.The leak, detected in the Chembur area,
happened when the cooling tower fan became faulty andconditions ofthe ammonia storage tanks in the Trombay
Subsequent to the leakage,
pressure from environmentalists and local residents resulted in installation
of pollution control devicesand
safety measuresby RCF.
Box - 8 - Gas leakage due to negligence during storage.
Source : Indian Express,
A bomb blast in the chilling
room of the Garware polyester unit at Aurangabad resulted in the death of
nine persons and injury to 30 others. The chilling room was used to store
molten polymer prior to processing into film.
Safety negligence on the part
of the company management was considered to be the reason behind the
accident.However, the company
management stated that the boilers where the accident took place, were
extremelysafe andtheleast vulnerable area of the factory.
**Resources available :
Action Plans have been developed by the Directorate of
Industrial Safety and Health and a number of district authorities for off-site
emergencies for the following industrial areas :
The Action Plan for Disaster
Control in Pune district.
The Disaster Management Plan for
Hazardous Factories in Thane District
The Disaster Management Plan for
Bombay, Chembur and Agra Road areas only.
The Disaster Control Plan forKhopoli Raigad - Dist.
The Disaster Control Plan forMIDC-Lote Parshuram, Ratnagiri Dist.
The Disaster Control Plan forMIDC - Taloja, Raigad Dist.
The Disaster Control Plan forMIDC - Roha, Raigad Dist.
The Disaster Control Plan forRasayani Patalganga, Raigad-Dist.
Typically, two types of fact
sheetshave been used in these plans
(I) Fact sheet for each chemical
compound used or manufactured in the industries in the area; and
(II) Fact sheet with information
about each industry in the district.
A review of thevarious plans was carried out to assess
To ascertain the adequacy of the
To collect information about the
available infrastructure to combat emergencies due to industrial / chemical
To assess the level of
preparedness of emergency services.
To collect and compile information
about the industrial units in the district in an attempt to assess the
potential of occurrence of chemical and industrial hazardsin the areas covered in each of the plans.
Recommend any additional
information requirements or changes in formats used, so as to formulate a
comprehensive action oriented plan.
The review showed that a generic
type of fact sheet is used in all these plans as shown below :
Fact sheet on Chemicals
The typical generic format used
is shown here :
Name of the Chemical
I. General Properties
II. Physical properties
III. Toxicity - In terms of Threshold Limit Value (TLV)
IV. Fire hazard - Flammability
V. Explosion hazard - Ignitability
VI. Disaster hazard -
VII. Caution - While handling the substance
VIII. Emergency control methods -
In case of spillage / fire / leakage
IX. Personal protective equipment
required while handling the compound.
X. First aid treatment- In
the event of exposure to the compound.
Fact Sheet on the Industry
This sheet is called the chemical
fact sheet and is compiled for each industry.
The format used was follows :
I. Factory identity
IV. Contact persons
V. Principle activity
VI. Inventory of the hazardous
Name of the Chemical
Quantity of chemical in the processing
VII. Consequences of major
hazards from storage for each chemical
VIII. Consequences of major
hazards from processing
IX. Physical range of consequences
The area of influence not very clearly defined for each chemical
The area of influence not very clearly defined for each process
X. Emergency actions required
within 5 minutes of occurrence of accident.
XI. Emergency actions required
within 15 minutes of
XII. Action required
Fire brigade - action required to
be taken by the fire brigade including the names and telephone numbers of
Police service - action required
to be taken by the police, including the names and telephone numbers of contact
Medical Services - action required
to be taken by the medical services, including the names and telephone numbers
of contact persons and hospitals.
XIII. Response time - a general
statement regarding the need for immediate response on occurrence of a chemical
XIV. Other information - general
precautionary measures to be adopted during the emergency. This is chemical
In addition to the fact sheets,
the following information is also a part of the action plans.
Information regarding fire
services, police, emergency health services, offsite transport for evacuation
ofpeople in the area of influence of
Names and addresses of contact
persons in each of these agencies is provided.
Action plans for each level of
personnel of the fire, police and medicalservices to handle emergencies during an industrial hazard / accident.
Maps have been provided in these
plans showing the location of industries, medical, fire and police
services.Alist of the hazardous factories located in
each area are also given.
In addition, the following
information is also provided :
An exhaustive listof hazardous chemicals used in these
industries is provided together with a classification that indicates those
withhigh and low disaster potential.
The symptoms exhibited due to
acute and sub-acute poisoning by these chemicals.
The antidotes and line of
treatment to be adopted to alleviate the symptoms.
In addition to emergency action
plans developed by the Directorate of Industrial Safety and Heath, some
industries have also developed on site emergency action plans. A comprehensive
plan of this type was developed by NOCIL in1992.
NOCIL’s on-site emergency action
plan consists of two parts.Part 1 is an
abridged version of the plan, forming the basis for efficient functioning of
the plan. This section provides information on the types of emergencies
envisaged, the action to be taken, the role of the various personnel, alarm
systems present and how they should be used, duties of the emergency leader,
instructionsetc. This is simple and is
targetted to be understood by all the employees.
Part II, on the other hand,gives detailed descriptions and is to be used
more as a training material for managing emergencies. In this section, details
of the emergency services available, the emergency procedures that should be
adopted for various types ofchemical
accidents, the emergency equipment to be used, storage details of the various
chemicals used on the premises and the action to be taken by the various
A third part to this plan
includes an off-site emergency action plan. This plan is to assist the local
district authorities to deal with off site emergencies. It was proposed to
integrate this planwith the Thane district
disaster management planand the
emergency action plans developed by other industries in the area. Here again,
the roles of the various factory personnel and emergency services as well as
their co-ordination with local district authorities are defined.
Apart from these district plans,
emergency response centres (ERC) have also been established in some of the
industrial areas in the state. The Thane-Belapur Industries Association
operates and manages a fully government ownedemergency response centre at Thane-Belapur. MIDC provided the investment
for setting up of this facility to as a part of the disaster management plan
for the industrial belt.
A second emergency response
centre has started functioning since August 1996, at the Hindustan Organics
Limited premises . The Patalganga Industrial Complex, where the ERC is
located,is one of the four industrial areas
that had been identified by the Ministry of Environment and Forests, govt. of
India. This is a joint venture ofMOEF
and DISH ( state government)to be
operated by the industries located in this region.
This ERCwill respond to emergencies due to hazardous
chemicals within a radius of 20 km and for factories located in the Patalganga
- Rasayani industrial belt. Presently the ERC is being housed at the fire
station in HOCL. Operating procedures for telephone operator, duty manager,
fire and safety officers have been developed. A format for recording of the
emergencies has also been developed.An
inventory of the emergency facilities, such as fire services, ambulances,
essential medical services, breathing apparatus etc., available with the member
industries has also been prepared.
The district emergencyplans require to be updated in terms of the
status of the emergency services and their communication details.
The plans were prepared between
1986-88. There is a need to derive an easily implementable action plan from
updated versions of such reports so that they can be readily used as emergency
actions during an industrial hazard - more of a What to do and When? type of document.
The action plan should be made
available in a comprehensive, action oriented, accessible form e.g., in a
searchable electronic form which can be readily updated. This is of relevance
especially for updating the names and telephone numbers of contact persons at
the various emergency services.
Prediction studies on the impact
of industrial hazards and accidents may be mapped to indicate the area of
influence and the population affected.
The use of a tool such as
geographic information system (GIS) would be extremely useful in this respect.
Meteorological information and
topographical features of the area should also be provided since these would be
useful in predicting the area affected by a chemical hazard.
Need for detailed maps, probably
for each industrial zone showing :
the location of industries,
especially the hazardous units, in each area or industrial zone of the
the land use pattern in the area ;
density of population surrounding
the various industries, with special reference to sensitive population e.g.,
hospitals, schools etc.;
area of influence and population
likely to be impacted due to an industrial hazard;
location of emergency services
such, as fire fighting, police and medical vis-à-vis the industries;
likely locations for setting up
relief camps such as schools, community buildings etc., during an emergency;
communication routes such as
roads, railway lines, stations and airports etc.
A separate manual, delinked from
the action plan, should be developed detailing,
the properties of the various
chemicals with potential hazards that serve asraw materials, the intermediate products, final products and waste
the symptoms resulting from
exposure to these hazardous chemicals; and
the antidotes to the injuries
caused by the hazardous chemicals.
This manual should be provided to
each industry and as well as emergency services such as police, fire brigade
andmedicalservices. The manual should be used to create
general public awareness regardingimmediate first aid measures to be taken in the event of an accident.
The fact sheets on the industry
should provide information on the hazard potential of the chemicals and
Information should be provided on
the potential hazard of not only the raw materials but also on,
final products and
The layout maps for each factory
need to be regularly updated.
All action plans should have an
organization chart showing coordination between the essential services as shown
in the action plan for Bombay, Chembur and Agra Road areas. Coordination
between the fire, medical, police and transport services with the air force /
army / navy also needs to be included.
The formats developed in the
Chembur, Bombay and Agra Road action plan for reporting an emergency are
to maintain a history and record
of the accidents in individual factories in the area;
in assessing the level of
preparedness of the emergency services; and
additional requirements of
facilities to deal with emergencies in future.
In addition to government initiatives,
industries such as NOCIL have also developed comprehensive on-site action plans
as well as off - site emergency action plans. The latter are to be integrated
with the district level action plans.
These plans, developed to respond
to industrial disasters in various districts of Maharashtra, catalysed the
enactment of the Manufacture and Storage of Hazardous Goods, Rules which
mandates thepreparation of an on-site
disaster management plan under the overall guidance of municipal commissioner
or district collector.
MOEF has issued a notification
dated Aug 1, 1996, for setting up of state, district and local level committees
for preparation of “Rules on Emergency Planning, Preparedness and Response for
is a need to identify district wise, the possible industrial and chemical hazards,
the agenciespresently dealing with the management of these hazards, resources available,
and present level of preparedness. Based on this information, standard operating
procedures (SOPs)may be formulated in responding to the hazards. Detailed district level
information towards this end, is being collected from the district collectors.
4. Vulnerability Analysis for the State of
“Vulnerability analysis is a process which
results in the understanding of the types and levels of exposure of persons,
property and the environment to the effects of identified hazards at a
particular time.” (Terry Jeggle and Rob Stephenson, Concepts of Hazard and
From the vulnerability
assessment models given in Appendix VI, it is clear that information on certain
key parameters are essential in conducting a vulnerability analysis. These
models permit a micro level analysis. However, for the state level exercise,
which is essentially intended to evolve a more generic state response, these
models may not offer a very appropriate framework. So, while recognising the
need for micro level analysis and recommending the application of these models,
possibly at the district level to evolve DDMAP, for the state level exercise we
intend to concentrate on certain key qualitative and quantitativeparameters and their contribution tovulnerability.
1.Economy plays a key role in
increasing or decreasingvulnerability
of a population to natural phenomena. An analysis of the occupationalactivities of the people in the state
reveals, that the economy is by and large concentrated on agriculture or
agriculture related activities. According to data available from the 1991
census, around 61 per cent of workers are engaged in the primary sector. (see
Table XXIII below). The percentage of cultivators and agricultural workers in
the state amounts to 59.6 per cent. It may be noted that women account for a
majority of work force in the rural sector,particularly in cultivation and agricultural labour. The disaster
impact, therefore, will be more severe on and directly affect women employment
and wage labour in the rural areas. The situation will be similar for male
workers in urban areas. The differential vulnerability of male and female
workers in urban and rural areas,therefore, will have to be taken into account in the management of
Table XXIII: Percentage of main
workers in various sectors to the total main workers
* Other workers include industrial, plantation, business, commerce, and government
As floods and cyclones have a devastating effect on
agriculture, the primary sector comes under serious threat. Land owners suffer
during these events as crops can be damaged; soil erosion leads to the
lessening of soil fertility.
The denudation of land is one of the most harmful effects
of flood, as the land is then rendered useless for cultivation for the season,
thereby directly affecting the marginal (below one hectare) and small (between
one to two hectares) farmersdepending
entirely on agriculture for their livelihood.Labourers suffer from loss of livelihood and employment. Although the
percentage of marginal and small farmers in Maharashtra is lower than the all
India average, the state economyis
under threat with 34.58 per cent marginal and 28.80 small farmers, who would be
Table XXIV: Number of Marginal and
percentage of total
2.The distribution of
industries in selectedstatesfor manufacturing and other units is given in
the table below.
Table XXV: Industry by Industry Number
of Registered working factories -1989
Percentage ofmanufacturing units
Percentage of other units
Percentage share of all industries to all India
It may be noted that the
percentage share of all industries to all India is significantly higher, that
is, 11.8 per cent for Maharashtra as compared to other states, whereas the
difference betweenmanufacturing and
other units across the states is not very significant. Therefore,urban Maharashtra demonstrates a high degree
of industrialisation, providessignificant employment opportunities and contributes a major share to
the national economy. But at the same time, indicates vulnerability to urban
disasters like industrial hazards, earthquakes andfires.
3. Social science research shows
that diversified economies are more sustainable in case of disasters.In Maharashtra ,aspeople are involved in many economic
activities, the economy is able to sustain itselfeven if some activities are affected because
of a disaster.
Also, recent years have seen a percentage increase in the
number of workers as well as a shift of the work force from the primary sectors
to the other sectors, thereby indicating the development of the economy in the
Disaster studies point to a direct
relationbetween poverty and
vulnerability to disasters. The people worst hit during a disaster are the poor
with limited access to food and nutrition. The increase indisaster potential is one result of the cycle
of poverty. The roots of poverty, which are also the predominant roots of
vulnerability, are the increased marginalisation of the population caused by a
high birthrate and the lack of resources to meet the basic human needs of an
expanding population. (birth and death rate can be given)
As in the State of Maharashtra, as per 1987 data,29.2 per cent of people are below poverty
line (36.7 per cent rural and 17.0 per cent urban). This becomes the majorgroup that is vulnerable to any type of
disasters situation. The inter-state comparison shows that the disparity
between urban and rural percentage is more inMaharashtra. Thus, rural Maharashtra shows a higher degree of poverty
linked vulnerability. The nature of urban agglomerations and concentration of
the poor in these select location, restore make certain urban centres more
vulnerable such as MMR, Pune, Nashik, Nagpur regions.
Table XXVI: Population below poverty
line -- 1988
population below poverty line
Total (all persons)
2.Poverty leads to
marginalisation of the population.The
groups of landless labourers, unskilled workmen, scheduled castes and scheduled
tribes and especially womenin these
groups, aremarginalised .These are the groups mainly occupying the
non-habitable areas, hill - side slopes, slums, settlements near the
storm-water drainage systems etc.These
areas themselves are risk prone, and the population staying here are,
therefore, all the more vulnerable.
3.Education is a basic requirement which helpsimprove
the coping capacities of the population and reduce disaster impact. The 1991
census shows that the literacy rate for Maharashtra is 64. 9 per cent (see
table) which is higher than the literacy rate for the country.
Table XXVII: Distribution of Literates by sex and location
Total Literates (000)
22,165 (49.9 %)
14,105 (63.64 %)
8060 (36.36 %)
12,174 (58.6 %)
8600 (41.4 %)
26,279 (61.2 %)
16,660 (38.8 %)
Note : Literate rate relates to literate
population as a percentage of total population aged seven years and above.
isno consolationas onefinds that in Mumbaialone, more
than 400,000 children are non-school going or drop-outs. The state level data
shows a student teacher ratio of 36:1(upto secondary level), which is quite satisfactory at the face value.
However, if one differentiatesthe
location of schools, that is, urban, rural and tribal, one finds that in
certain urban locations the ratio is as high as 15:1 and in the
rural/tribalareas, it is as low as
60:1. This has implications for enrollment as well asdrop-out rate (59.87 % by standard VIII).
4.Although, the entire state is
covered throughprimary health centres,
a more clear statement on its coverage and effectiveness would help inestablishing its relevance for thepopulation, in terms of vulnerabilityreduction. Currently,in Maharashtra, theBedPopulation Ratio is 1 : 683 and theDoctor Person ratio is1 :1750. Again, as seen in the case of school
education, these ratios are highly deceptive when examined in the context of
location. Apart from the total number ofposts for medical practitioners in health system, one has to also look
at the number of vacancies and non-field posts. This is specifically important
in case of tribal and rural areas, where a number of posts are lying vacant in
the absence of either the appointment or the postings. Also, the situation of
stocks of medicines and usables is reported to be inadequate. The rural and
tribal areas, therefore, exhibit a high degree of vulnerability due tothe absence of adequate staff manning the
A number of sociological studies have
mentioned caste-class nexus in Indian society.The economic class also represents the social caste of the people, which
decides their status in the society.Thus, most of the poor happen to be from scheduled castes, scheduled
tribes and other backward castes, making this group more vulnerable to
disasters. The state of Maharashtra has 11.09 per cent SC and 9.27per cent ST population as per the 1991
census, with certain districts such as Thane, Nasik, Dhule, Gadchiroli, having
a concentration of these population.One
finds that only 45.93 per cent of the SCs and 29.33 per cent of STs are
literate. This is much lower than the literacy percentage of the general
population, thereby increasing the vulnerability of this group. Further, this
caste and class factor has to be taken into consideration in rehabilitation
work and mitigation strategies as seen in the Latur earthquake, where initially
there were reservations against the mixing of different castes.
Womengenerally have a lower status in an orthodox Indiansociety. The division of labour,
opportunities,wage returns and
participation in decision-making reflect the consequences of the lower status
of women, thus making them a vulnerable group. The literacy rate for women is
lesser than that of men (52.3 per cent as against 76.6 per cent) as also the
working population ofwomen (33 per cent
as against 52 per cent males).This
makeswomenmore vulnerable. In the absence of an
opportunity to participate in critical decisions,both in mitigation and rehabilitation, this
vulnerability takes a serious form.
Urbanization increases vulnerability
because of high rates of incoming migration and because of high density of
population. Unabatedurbanizationresults in higher vulnerability for these
already vulnerable.As per the 1991
population census, the urban population in Maharashtra (3.05 crore) was 38.7
per cent of the total population. This percentage is much higher than that of
India (25.7 per cent). The proportion of urban population has been continuously
increasing in the last three decades. Mumbai alone has 32.50 per cent of the
estimated urbanpopulation of the state.
Although, one finds a higher degree of industrialisation in Maharashtra, the
state does not necessary rate very high in urbanisation. However, if one looks
at urban density, Maharashtra shows that the density has increased from 3,735
in 1981, to5,180 persons per sq. Km in
1991. It is this high density and the rate of increase, that adds to the
vulnerability of urban population.The
density for all of Maharashtra is just 256 persons per sq. Km, indicating that
the density for rural Maharashtra is much lower.
Urbanisation and Density for select states
All India (average)
2. Urbanisation leads to more incoming migration. According to the 1981
census, there were 46.78 lakh immigrants in the state, accounting for seven per
cent of the population. The inter-state migration rates for Maharashtra between
1981 and 1991 for males and females respectively, is assumed to be 3.20 and
2.30. More than 50 per cent of total migrants (23 lakhs as per 1981 census) had
immigrated into Mumbai.Immigrants
accounted for 28 per cent of the population of Mumbai in 1981.West Bengal and Maharashtra indicate the
maximum influx of population from the other states, possibly for employment and
Table XXIX: Interstate migration 1971-81 for select states
Net migrants (000)
% share to gross
The increasing influx of poor immigrants to the state
adds pressure on the existing infrastructureand land resources. As the cities and towns expand, the landservicedby utilities andsafe for
development is in high demand for both housing and industry. Thus the prices
rise. Low-income families in search of land for housing, must settle in areas
of low value. The slum population, therefore, increases and these become more
vulnerable to disasters. There are approximately 2,500 recorded slum pockets in
Mumbai accommodating 50 per cent of Mumbai’s population. Destruction of natural
holding ponds for monsoon drainage, is a direct result of unplanned settlements
and indiscriminate housing,and in turn,
brings newer areas under the risk of flooding, as canbe seen in Mumbai.
vulnerability of the state can be examined in terms of the nature of
infrastructure and its coverage. In the context of the state economy and the
extent of industrialisation, certain infrastructural provisions assume
importance. These include irrigation, power, communication, transport, sewage
and drinking water supply. Effort, therefore, has been made to examine the
status of these infrastructure at the state level.
showing the rivers and dams has already been given in section III
(Earthquakes). However, the vulnerability of dams and irrigation systems with
respect to other disasters can be seen from the following :
Potential effects of natural hazards on water supply systems
Natural hazardsComponents Effect Consequences
overtopping of endangered
Overhead cables Blown down Power
Storm surge Treatment works Flooded Close
Pumping station Flooded Close
Heavy rain Reservoirs Overtopping of Possible dam failure
Rivers Riverine floods Difficult treatment
River offtake Scour Loss of source
works Flooding Close
Earthquake Reservoirs Structural failure Loss of supply,
Ground-water Liquefaction of Fracture
deposits supply failure
Transmission Line fractureSupply
reservoirsDamagedLoss of storage
Distribution Pipe fractureBurst,
loss of storage
Landslide Reservoirs Overtopping orLoss
failure of damsflooding
River offtake River diversion Loss of source
Rivers High sedimentTurbidity
Transmission Fracture bySupply
aqueducts, ground movement
reservoirsDamagedLoss of storage
works, Damaged byLost
stations ground movement capacity
showing the location of power stations in the state is given below. It is
necessary to examine the vulnerability of these installations with respect to
Potential effects of natural hazards on electricity generation and distribution
Natural hazard Component Effect Consequence
High windsTransmission Collapse Loss of supply
Generating Damage andLoss of supply
cooling partial collapse
lines CollapseLoss of supply
Sea surgeGenerating Equipment Shut down
cables FloodedLoss of supply
Heavy rainReservoirs Overtopping
of Possible progressive
Generating FloodedLoss of supply
EarthquakeDams Damage from Loss of supply
from Loss of supply
stations, sub-ground failure and
stations, othermotion, e.g. isolators,
Distribution linesCollapse of lines Local
pole mounted supply
Landslide Dams Failure
from Loss of supply
Generating Failure by ground Loss of supply
Potential effects of natural hazards on communication systems
Natural hazard ComponentEffectConsequence
High winds Radio
and TV Disorientation of Disruption to or loss of
towers aerialstransmission capability
Collapse Complete loss of
Overhead cablesCollapse of poles High
of cables Loss of service
and TV Damage/collapse Complete loss of transmission
Overhead cablesCollapse of poles, High
of cables Loss of service
UndergroundMinor quake: High
quake: Complete loss of
TelephoneMinor quake: Temporary
loss of service
Major quake: Long-term
loss of service
collapse of building
Heavy rainRadio and TV Interference with Temporary loss of service
towers signal path
Underground Flooded High
Telephone Flooded Complete
loss of service
exchanges Flooding and Long-term
major damage of
Storm surgeRadio and TV Flood
damage to Complete loss of
towers radio equipment transmission
Overhead Collapse of poles, Loss of service
cables severing of cables
Underground Flooding High
Telephone Flooding and Complete loss of service
exchanges major damage
warning system which communicates risk of an impending disaster to the
population, reduces thevulnerability of
the population.Thus, threat perception
and effective warning systems become important tools to be discussed, which
define the degree of vulnerability.
messages are generally communicated through mass media (radio, television and
press releases). Weather bulletins are issued by the Colaba observatory under
the Indian Meteorological Department. Besides sending regular messages to All
India Radio, the Colaba observatory sends alert message to the chief secretary
and the district collectors 48 hours in advance, about any depression in the
Arabian Sea.Thereafter, the said
observatory sends warnings depending on the weather situation.
prediction varies for different events.An event like an earthquake can not be accurately predicted even with
the use of sophisticatedtechnology.Though the presence
of a cyclone in the sea can be described, its movements cannot be predicted
yet.So, even the prediction of
impending cyclone is difficult.
floods and epidemics can be predicted to a large extent. For instance, unlike,
other regions, floods in western Maharashtra are caused by heavy discharges
into rivers when irrigation engineers are forced to open dam gates, following
unprecedented heavy rainfall in catchmentreservoirs located in the ghats. Floods, therefore, can be regulated,
measured and forecast. However, the
irrigation department seems to go by its own experience rather than the
forecastsandstore enoughwater in the lakes in spite of heavy rainfall prediction.
Thus,prediction of an impending disaster is very
inexact.The absence of necessary
equipments for better analysisand theirregular useincreases the vulnerability of the system.As pointed out in the committee meeting on
floods and cyclones, various equipments are lying idle,switched off or used for other purposes.
Communication of warning signals thus become problematic. The existing system
is notenough to reach out to all
vulnerable populations, nor is the warning enough to direct the population
about do’s and don’ts. Such situations lead to increasing vulnerability
and‘sudden onset’ of events.
large, people,and more specifically,
the vulnerable groups, tend to ignore weather predictions,thereby making evacuation more difficult.
Inability to understand the significance of warning systems and the role they
play in reducing the damage to life and property increases the existing
has 3,601 broad gauge, 754 metre gauge and 1,100 narrow gauge tracks (refer
map) totalling to 5435 kilometres. Theunmanned railway crossings add to the vulnerability of road transport,
whereas tracks of different gauges create a vulnerability in the railway
traffic itself. For example, the Lifeline Express of the Rajiv Gandhi
Foundation, had difficulties in reaching out to Latur victims because of the
limitations of the railway gauge.
transport, most of the people depend on the state transport buses (MSRTC). But
the poor conditions of roads afterheavy
rainfall as well as narrow roads in many of the places, makes itimpossible to access the remote villages. The
communication system remains disrupted for many days and police wireless sets
also remain dysfunctional due tobad
weather. Damages to bridges which are at a low height further aggravates the
situation. Local authorities often have to depend on military personnel for
rescue operations. The non-availability of escape routes or alternative routes,
makes many of the villages vulnerable to the effects of disasters, as they are
either trapped or inaccessible. A detailed discussion on the road and transport
vulnerability has already been presented in section III (Road Accidents)
disasters, quality and design specifications have, to a large extent,
determined the nature and quantum of losses. It is therefore, necessary to look
at the access to housing, type of housing, materials used and the compliance tobuilding codes,appropriate to the seismic zones. As has been
discussed earlier, there are already proposals for rezoning the state in the
wake of the Latur earthquake.
As far as
access to housing is concerned, both the homeless and those under institutional
care are considered as houseless. As per 1981 data, there were 5,42,457
houseless and 5,53,8889insitutionlalised, amounting to 10,96,346 ( 1.75 % in the state)
houseless population. Absence of residential premises also creates problems of
post-disaster compensation, thereby adding to their vulnerability.
It is seen
that materials used for housing also have a significant role to play in
determining vulnerability, as was evident in Bhopal gas leak of 1984 and the
Latur earthquake. The data (table XXXIII) shows that as many as77,62,980houses out of 1,14,58,145 that is 67.75 per cent are vulnerable to
disastersresulting from housing
materialused. Additionally,in spite of the use of appropriate materials,
aging andpoor maintenance results
indilapidatedand dangerous buildings, beyond economic
repair. In MMR region alone, there are 17,000 such tenements needing urgent
repairs.The replacement rate of the public
agencieshas only been760 tenements per year. At this rate of
reconstruction, the backlog of tenements needing replacements in MMR region by
2021, would be 4,48,881 units. (refer to table XXXIV on house crashes based on
newspaper reports). The situation in other urban centres and towns is no
exception.Poor housing is vulnerable to
earthquakes, fires, floods, cyclones, house crashes etc.
The houses have provedhighly vulnerable during floods and
earthquakes. In the Konkan region, during the floods in 1983, a majority of the
rooftops were blown off and thousands of familiesleft homeless with their houses either
completely destroyed or severely damaged. During the Killari earthquake of
1993, the number of casualties was quite high as the roofs of the stone masonry
house structurescaved in directly on
the people. Government godowns are equally vulnerable to floods. A number of
times, heavy damages of materials and food stocks have been reported after the
Table XXXIII: Distribution of households by material used for roofs and
Material Used for walls
used for roof
Grass leaves, mud, unburnt
stone and lime
Table XXXIV: Details on house crashes in Mumbai
All these add to the
vulnerability of the occupants as well as the structures. It is observed that
·While building codes based on the zoning
exist, there is a laxity in the implementation of thesecodes, as pointed out during the
earthquake committee meeting.From the
point of view of vulnerability of the structures, it was noted that rezoning in
the context of earthquakes and defining building codes for specific zones, is
one of the urgent requirements. Further, inspection of existing structures as
per the new codes and classifying these in terms of vulnerability is equally
important. Particularly in urban areas like Mumbai, where a number of buildings
have been listed for repairs and reconstruction, this becomesa priority issue. No survey of houses has
been carried out to classify them as safe or unsafe during earthquakes or
cyclones, and thereby pinpoint safe structures. After the threat of the 1982
cyclones, reports pointed out that majority of the sky-scrapers in Mumbai would
have been adversely affected had the cyclones hit Mumbai.
it must be mentioned that building codes are implemented very strictly for
dams.This probably is the reason why there have been no dam-bursts during
the earthquakes even though there were frequent tremors.
disaster occurs, the government sets up a control room at the Mantralaya as
well as a district control room to monitor the damages and the administration
response as also providedisaster
details. The government undertakes relief work, such as providing food supply,
ensuring safe drinking water and setting up of relief camps. The government
provides compensation for loss of life as also subsidies and loans for
reconstruction work. Government also enlists the help of military whenever
often there is afeelingthat the government responds to a call for
help rather belatedly, and that the government machinery is inadequate to deal
with the situation (an inquiry was ordered after the 1991 floods into the delay
by the official machinery in informing the chief minister and other top
officials about the tragedy in Mowad). The norms of compensation come to be
questioned as the compensation amount is felt to be too meagre. The assessments
are found to be faulty and there are charges and counter charges of corruption
and manipulation of beneficiary lists. A settlementalong one of the highways wasleft out of relief because it was not a
recorded village. People indirectly affected due to the disruption of the
economyfind no relief available to
therefore, in identifying the victims and also at times the rigidity ofcompensation norms inappropriate to local
conditions aggravate the existing vulnerability.
Participation and NGO Intervention
post disaster period, people do not resort topanic. Rather, the people respond immediately and help each other in
rescue operations and management of locally organised relief camps. There is a
spontaneous organised effort on the part of the community. The people help in
searching and identification of the dead, helping the police in preparing the
list of missing people and inventory of artefacts and property lost in the
floods. Sometimes, people in several villages voluntarily come forward to sell
their land for a good cause. The immediate response of the community goes a
long way in maintaining the morale and confidence of the survivors. It is this
help which draws people out of numbness and shock.
has often beennoticedthat once outside intervention commences, the
local initiative is totallyignored. The
response of the outside population to a disaster situation gets reflected
through financial and material contributions. In most situations, these
contributions are channeled through relief and rehabilitation groups such as
political parties, charity organisations or NGOs, engaged in development work
in the area, thus reflecting community capacity. At times,too many NGOs at the same site creates
confusion, resulting inlack of
coordination amongst NGOs and between NGOs and government resulting in claims
of the community to respond to a disaster situation, therefore, demonstrates
the degree of vulnerability of the victims. This may increase or get reduced,
depending on the nature and quality of intervention by the NGOs. Strengthening
grass-roots NGOs and CBOs will go a long way in sustaining their capacities for
intervention. Fortunately, NGOs in Maharashtra have a long tradition of
partnership with the government during disaster situations, thereby
contributing to the reduction of vulnerability on this score.
administrative response to disaster threats anda post-disaster situation is mainly directed through the office of the
district collector.Presently, the
collector as a person, makes a difference between efficiency and inefficiency.
The district collector is normally responsible for coordinating mitigative and
preparedness measures. He also has an important role to play in damage
assessment and compensation, in addition to immediate relief and
rehabilitation. Frequent transfers mean that the collectors have to very quickly
acquaint themselves with the disaster vulnerabilities of the district, as well
as political and social environment, including the assessment of NGO
standardisation of response structures through action plans,preparation and updating of district disaster
management plans also contribute to this problem. So, often when a disaster
strikes in an area, ifthe district
collector isnew to the place,he could be vulnerable to many influences,
thereby increasing the vulnerability of the administrative machinery.
of any disaster insurance means that the government has to bear a huge cost for
compensation and rehabilitation. Currently, in only one state, that is,Goa, disaster related compensation has been
introduced by United India Assurance Company. Though, the disaster insurance
exists in a number of countriesdemonstrating the possibilities, it has raised doubts about its
efficiency. The practice of insurance does not reduce the vulnerability, but
tends to shift the burden of losses to another area, thereby creating new types
of vulnerabilities. It is reported that many insurance companies involved in
disaster insurance are rethinkingtheir
strategy. Also, there are problems with disaster insurance, as these are linked
with the notification of the disaster.
activitieswhich are development,
oriented are a product of development policies adopted by the state.
Policiesdirected towards poverty
alleviation are important and needsmention because they reduce the vulnerability of the population to
disasters.Schemes like Niradhar Yojna
and policies of social welfare help people to come out of marginalised
status.Jawahar Rojgar Yojna, Nehru
Rojgar Yojna, Prime Minister Rojgar Yojna etc.are implemented for employment generation for youth.Legislations have been made to combat
traditions like bonded labour.
Development of Women and Child in Rural Areas(DWACRA) are particularly important for empowerment of vulnerable groups
like women and children.Schemes like
Indira Awas Yojna are aimed at giving ‘pucca’ houses to poor population. All
these schemes, andprogrammeshelp increating a better infrastructure for the village,thereby reducing thevulnerability of the village.
existence of such schemes and their effective implementation will decide the
degree of vulnerability.
The list of different disaster episodes, given in the section on risk analysis,
also reflects the degree of vulnerability of the state to various disasters.
4.8 Summary of Risk Assessment
and Vulnerability Analysis in Maharashtra
the low depression belt in the Arabian sea, the western coasts of Maharashtra
faced the threat of cyclone on 24thOctober 1996.The cyclone had already made aperipheralimpact on Goa and was
moving towards north creating a fear of its strikeon Mumbai.
The day - 24th October :
The non -
English language vernacular newspapers warned that Mumbai was under the threat
ofcyclone ‘presently located at about
430 kilometres to the southwest of Mumbai andmoving with a speed of 250 kilometres per hour northwardsfrom the coasts of Goa, after making a strong
impact there (falling of trees and blowing off tin sheets).’The cyclone was expected to move towards
Dahanu and Verval but ‘Mumbai will be affected by strong winds ofthespeed of 70-80 kms per hour and rainfall of 7-8 inches’.It was mentioned that Mumbai may not be the
epicentre of the cyclone if it moves towards the north, but if it moves towards
the north east, Mumbai will be severely affected.The direction of cyclone was not clear.
radio stations started sending warning signals thatMumbaiwill be hit by a severe storm.‘The cyclone is moving northward, but it may divert and hit
Mumbai’.Warning of storm resulted in
schools and offices closing.
andradio stations announced that the
cyclone has moved towards north and is stable near Dahanu - north of
Mumbai.It was likely to bypassMumbai and have aperipheral impact on Mumbai - Heavy storm
with rains and winds were expected.
radio stations announced that the cyclone has moved northward andMumbai was definitely out of its range.It was announced that cyclone would
definitely not hit Mumbai but heavy rains and high winds with the speed of
40-60 kms. per hour were expected.
stations announced that thedanger of
cyclone no longer existed.There was no
fear any more as the cyclone hadmoved
towards north.It was also mentioned
that in the same night, it would hit Gujarat - Saurashtra areas. However the
expectation of stormy weather continued.
What actually happened
touchedno land area, but insteadcalmed down over thesea.There were no storms or high winds in Mumbai or nearby the regions,
except in Dahanu.
Though it is expected that the first
stage warning of cyclone should be issued 48 hours before and the second stage
warning24 hours before it actually
hits, there was no warning given.The
warning reached the people through newspapers ten hours before it was expected
to strike Mumbai at 4.p.m. Secondly,leading English newspapers like Times of India and Indian Express made
no mention of the cyclone threat, keeping a vast population of their readers in
The warnings about thespeed of winds meant nothing for the people.
Statement like ‘Winds blowing with the speed of 70-80 k.m. per hour’ have no
meaning unless such warnings are accompanied by indicators of wind speed
(breaking of glasses, falling of trees etc.)and with information on the necessary actions to be taken (enforcing the
house, evacuation etc.)
Because of the inadequacy in warning,
people were not fully aware of the seriousness of the disaster that could have
occurred.Though the fishermen were told
not to venture out into the sea, and the activities of MPT were dismissed, one
could see a few boats and ships in the sea.People were seen on strolling Girgaon-Dadar sea shores and Haji
Ali.Even in the evening, one could see
people on the seashore, who had come there to see how the ‘storm’ arrives.This could have been a potentially dangerous
situation, but the people were not aware of the possible effects.
Possible impacts of wind speeds werealsounknown to the people.In some
slums, people tied plastic sheets with their houses and heavy stones were kept
on tin shades, so that they don’t fly away.These measures would not have been enough if the cyclone had reallyhit.Though strict warnings were issued in Worli,Koliwada, Navinagar andGorai slums etc., there was no evacuation.
Nor didpeople knowwhen to evacuate.People staying in high rise buildings were
alsonot told about the precautionary
measures they needed to take.
Though, the prediction that the cyclone
will move north towards Dahanu - Veraval was quite correct, it was seen that
accurate prediction about cyclonic conditions were not possible.There were no rains in Mumbai, nor stormy
weatherobserved.Neither did the cyclone strike Dahanu-
Veraval or Gujarat.Thus, limitations in
precise predictions of cyclone movement overland were apparent.
It seems that the police, the fire
brigade, the traffic department, the health department etc., were quite
prepared to face the situations.These
departments reportedhaving taken
preparations to manage the situation, if the storm hit the city.Precautions were also taken to keep the
railway, water, electricity and otherservices working, as reported by various departments.
episode we know that
There are serious limitations when one
talks of cyclonic conditions and the prediction of a cyclone.Though warnings of impending cyclones can be
given, itcan’t be predicted very
There were many shortcomings in
warning.General public was given no
direction as to thedo’s and don’tsin such
situations. The document on disaster preparedness and mitigation deals with
this particular aspect in detail.
3. It seems that the
various departments of state governmentwere quite well prepared,
as was reported by them.However, one is notin
a position to evaluate state the response mechanism and its effectiveness
as there was no feedback on this.
Reportof Major Floods in Maharashtra
(Source : News items during the events)
I. 1983 Floods
in Maharashtra :A Report
The year 1983 saw as many as
three major floods; the first occurring in the Sindhudurg and Ratnagiri
districts ofthe Konkan region in late
June, the second in the Pune and Nanded districts during August and again in
the same region in the month of September.
362 lives were lost in the floods
that year, and property worth Rs. 26.8 crores were damaged.
Summary Report on the Floods in June 1983.
Continuous rains for more than
four days fromJune 26 to June 29, 1983,
resulted in massive floods in the Ratnagiri and Sindhudurg districts.
Deaths: Official figure
- 16, newspaper figures - 86
Damage caused :
An estimated 3,551 people,
belonging to 756 families were affected by the floods.
Several rooftops were blown off,
Thousands of families were left
homeless, with their houses either completely destroyed or severely damaged.
Landslides, at Sangameshwar and
Guhagar tehsils, major and minor landslides in about 59 villages.
Electric supply was affected in
In Ratnagiri, 1,200 tonnes of rice
in government godowns was damaged.
133 cattle were swept away in the
rains and their cost was estimated at Rs.80,000.
Over 5,000 hectares land was
marooned, the total damage being Rs.327 lakhs.
More than 14,000 cultivators in
Ratnagiri and 10,000 in Sindhudurg had been directly hit. About 80 % of these
cultivators were smallland holders --
possessing less than five acres of land.
The approximate fall in food
production was expected to be less by 50%.
1,848 houses were damaged, wholly
or partly, costing Rs.47.25 lakhs.
Around 108 hectares of land in
Sangmeshwar Taluka were rendered useless by the flood waters of the Shastri
Estimated loss of life and
property was around Rs.14.5 crore.
Power supply, transport and
telecommunication were disrupted for many days.
Two bridges were severely damaged
and the Kasal-Kudal road caved in.
The Maharashtra state road
transport corporation’s bus service was suspended because of damage to a “mori”
(mini-bridge) near Shravan village.
The police lost contact with both
the districts as,even the wireless sets
could not be operated due to continuous bad weather.
Political reaction : The Maharashtra BJP vice-president, Mr.
Jagannath Patil, MP, demanded that in view of the flood havoc in Ratnagiri
district,the zilla parishad stop the
recovery of cess. He felt that Rs.3,000 per hectare should be given forrepairs and levelling of the flood affected
Community reaction :
People were quick to point out the
inadequacy of the government machinery to cope up with the situation. They felt
that the government hadresponded to the
call for help rather late. The chiefminister or his deputy didn’t visit the affected areas, they complained.
The assistance was also meagre.
The norms of compensation came to
be questioned , on the basis that a proper assessment wasn’t done.
Condition ofrivers : The
swelling of the Kalawali, Vasisthi and Shastri rivers created havoc affecting
many villages. Due to landslides, many rivers changed their course and
therefore many houses located at a differentarea were alsoaffected.
The chief secretary to the
Maharashtra government, Mr. R.D. Pradhan, announced that families which had
lost its members in the floods, would be given an immediate relief ofRs.4,000.onlyRs.2,000 was given as compensationfor damaged houses.
Nearly 565 families received Rs.
3,33,778 by way of aid from the state government.
Rs.83,990 was also granted to 224
people for construction of houses.
Rice destroyed in the government
godown was to be supplied from Kolhapur.
Reason for occurrence : Heavy rains for continuous four days. Many
people felt that the tremors felt in the region was also due toearthquake and that the government didn’t
agree because the norms of compensation in an earthquake are different (and
more) than in a flood. There was widespread and indiscriminate felling of
trees, which had robbed the soil of its support. For want of trees on the
hillocks, the rain water brought all the silt down to low lying areasand flooded the farms and rivers.
Other points : The district collector of Sindhudurg, Mr. R.K.
Bharghav, was postedthere two to three
weeks before the calamity struck. Since he was new, some people in the district
expressed apprehension that he might have to depend entirely on the advice of
tahsildars who might be carried away by their personal pride and prejudices in
assessingthe losses of individuals.
Summary report of floods in August 1983
Flash floods struck the western
region as dam waters were released following heavy rainfall in the second week
Deaths : 144. Most affected was the Marathwada region.
Road communication between Konkan
and Kolhapur and between Nanded and other parts of Marathwada was disrupted.
Three villagesin Degloor talukahad been marooned. The Goa-Bombay national highway
was closed. Nanded remained cut-off from the rest of the country for more than
Condition ofrivers :
The Godaviri river went above the
The Mitha river in Bombay region
was in spate.
Massive release of water from
several swelling dams in Maharashtra threatened more areas with flash floods.
Six gates of the Koyna dam were opened. Waters of the swollen Bhima river swept
through the pilgrimage centre of Pandharpur.
Response system :
There was evacuation of houses
situated on the banks of the Mitha river.Municipal wards and police stations were asked to broadcast alerts to
the residents of buildings and hutments situated on the banks of theMitha River. Around 15,000 people were
shifted to safer places.
Over 5,000 people, including about
2,000 from the Harijan restoreSantpeth
in Pandharpur, were shifted to safer places.
Around 27 camps for 10,000 people
were set-upinPune. These relief camps were already
earmarked by the Pune authorities in anticipation of flash floods.
Doordarshan and All India Radio
issued hourly warnings.
The Indiannavy was called fortheevacuation ofmarooned people at
many places in Maharashtra. Armyboats
had been pressed into service to reach marooned people in Pune city.
Food packets, drugs and clothes
were being air-dropped by IAF helicopters.
The public health department was
asked to take preventive measures in the affected districts against the
possible outbreak of epidemics.
The water supply to some areas was
increased to bring down the force of water spilling out of the lakes.
The fire brigade also evacuated
people from low-lying areas.
There was no liaison between the
irrigation department and the meteorological department. The irrigation
department seemed to have no faith in the forecasts of the meteorological
department, and therefore, storedmore
water in the lakes in spite of heavy rainfall prediction. Therefore, water had
to be released resultingin flash
floods. (Unlike other regions,, floods in western Maharashtra are caused by
heavy discharges into rivers when irrigation engineers have to open the dam
gates following unprecedentedrainfall
in catchmentreservoirs located in the
ghats. Floods,, therefore, can be regulated, measured and forecast).
Community reaction : The public on the main roads did not takethe warning messages by the police and
municipal jeeps very seriously.The
police hadto forcibly evict those very
close to the banks of the river.
Political reaction : Mr. Rajarambapu Patil, President, state Janata
Party, asked the government to set up all-party flood relief committees in the
state, district and taluka levels to tackle the problem of floods. He suggested
the provision of a Rs.10 crore relief fund, to be handled by thecommittees.
Suggestions : The Konkan Vikas Tarun Aghadi headed by Mr. Mohan
Keluskar, drew up a scheme to face such natural calamities more effectively. A
Rs.100 crore blueprint was prepared and presented to the state government.The recommendations were as follows :-
Silt accumulated in rivers flowing
through Ratnagiri and Sindhudurg should be removed and dumped on the rocky
sites where trees producing Alphonso mangoes, cashewnuts and coconuts should be
Rivers should be deepened to25 feet.
Deforestation should be put to a
halt and a positive programme for afforestation should be taken up.
Damaged roads should be
properlyconstructed and resurfaced.
Height of foot overbridges and
roads should be increased.
Small dams should be reconstructed
to make available drinking water.
Assistance asked and relief provided :
Assistance asked : The state
government asked the central government for a loan of Rs.58 crore towards
relief measures in the flood-affected areas of the state.
Damage during Konkan floods in
June - Rs. 16 crores.
Damage during floods in western
Maharashtra in August - Rs..44 crores.
Restoration of agricultural land
- Rs.4.35 crores.
Restoration of public property -
The state government spent
Rs.46.16 crores on flood relief by March1994. Around 5.47 lakh houses had been constructed for the rural
Around 119 villages in Nandedwere taken up for resettlement and the
government tried to ensure thatthe
villages affectedare not reoccupied by
others. The land was to betreated as
waste land. A special cell was set up to undertake a time-bound programme of
shifting, under the supervision of the Nanded district collector.
Loans, subsidies and building
materials were being supplied to various beneficiaries under this programme,
for constructing newhouses on
alternative plots allottedfree of cost
from land acquired by the government in various neighbouring villages.
Schools, link and approach roads,
drinking water supply, energy supply and plots for construction of“Panchayat” offices are also being provided
at the new site.
Different communities including
scheduled castes and tribes and minorities, are living the together in an
The construction of one tenement
has cost each family Rs.10,000. The cost was subsidised by loans and grants
from the state government, in addition to variousbuilding material supplied to them at the
Windows, doors, wooden beams and
roof-tiles retrieved in good condition fromold abandoned houses, have been reused in the construction of the new
The resettlement programme was
completed in three months. People in several villages voluntarily came forward
to sell parts of their land for agood
Source : Newspaper reports of the period.
Anarticle in the Times ofIndia, 2/8/85, written by M Z Hasan :
“In spite of efforts to contain it, the intensity offloodshas been increasing, threatening moreareas year after year.The loss
due to floods,which was Rs.210
millionin 1951 rose to Rs.6300 million
in 1971. It reached Rs.11,320 million in 1981 and Rs.24,600 million in
1983,recording 117 times increase in 33
years. The flood prone area, basedon
the data available from 1953 to 1976 was assessed to be 25 million hectares.
After the 1977 floods, it was revised to 34 million hectares. It has once again
been revised to 40million hectares.
The government has provided protection to 12.44million hectares (about 30 per cent of the
total flood prone area), by constructing 12, 905 kms of embankments and 25,331
kms of drainage channels and protection to 332 towns and 4,696 villages has
been provided at a cost of Rs. 14,425.2 million.
But still floods occur in areas which have been protected. This could
be because the embankments are known to have collapsed and town protection
schemes afford little protection. Also, such steps provide protection to one
area while they expose the adjoining areas to threats of floods. The second,
and more important reason is that, while on the one hand, the country is
spending millions to prevent flood, on the other hand, deforestation is adding
its own share of damage. The denudation of forests, the consequent erosion of
the top soil, the rapid and heavy siltation of rivers, the absence of anti-soil
erosion measures and the failure to afforest regions bared of forest cover,
especially in the catchment areas, have combined to ensure that floods recur
and wreck greater damage than before.
It is not possible to tame this flow by engineering works alone. First,
because the embankments have little effective life. Heavy siltation not only
minimises their effectiveness but also fills the river beds making them
shallow.Dams also suffer from heavy
siltation and their water storing capacity is eroded. Secondly, when the
embankments provide protection to one area, they expose other areas to theflooded danger.
It has also been estimated, that the loss of soil through erosion
ofarable land is of the order of 6,000
million tonnes a year. This calls for speedy afforestation measures as the
benefits provided by forests, if calculated in hard currency, amounts to over
hundreds of thousand million; the insurance against floods, erosion and loss of
soil nutrients adds up to Rs.300 billion; forests store water worth Rs.400
billion and they provide timber worth Rs.450 billion, besides maintaining
Floods in Maharashtra : A Report
Heavy rains lashed all over
Maharashtra on July 23, 1989, leading to floods in many parts. The rains were
accompanied by high velocity winds with a maximum speed of 84 kmph. Raigad,
Beed were the most affected..
Deaths : Around 920.
Reason of occurrence : It was the by-product of a cyclonic storm
rising from the BayofBengal and moving in a west north-westerly
direction, which crossedKalingapatnam,
reached Akola and travelled upto Jalgaon, where it moved into position on the
western coast of the state.
There was wide spread
speculationthat the calamity was
‘man-made’, that is, due to the release of water from the dams. The government
Damage caused :
The rain and high winds uprooted
trees, shattered glass windows and smothered the arterial roads under water.
Landslides at Bajhe village.
A number of leading industrial
units in Raigad, suspended operations because of flooding of the Patalganga
river. Large scale damage to machinery, almost total collapse of the power
system and water supply, along with extensive damages to all offices in the
projects of the Patalganga complex in Raigad district, have led to an estimated
loss of over Rs.500 crores.
Hazardous chemicals stored in
these industries spilled over into the flood waters.
Numbers of tribals in Jambhulpada
were indirectly affected as they were dependent on the flood-hit areas for
their bread and butter.
About 40,000 Ganesh idols were
damaged in the floods.
Units in the Roha complex in the
MIDCarea were immobilised. The damage
caused was around Rs.80 crore.
About two lakhpeople were rendered destitute. About 7,239
villages were affected.
Government estimates till July 31,
of the public and private damage was Rs.2.08 crore
Damage to 900 low tension poles,
250 high tension pole, 220 low tension feeder lines and 52 transmission states.
Damage to public property in rural
areas -- Rs.30 crore.
Damage to national and state
highways, government buildings power stations, transmission lines and towers --
more than Rs.60 crore.
Power supply had been disrupted in
Rs.35.87 crore crops were damaged.
54,208 hectares of nalla bunds
were destroyed, restoration of which will cost Rs.6.64 crore.
14 villages in the vicinity of
Vadkalnaka and Pen were marooned. Navy personnel tried to reach these villages
using dingies, carried by trucks to Panvel, and then put into operation in the
flood affected areas.
Road network to the Konkan region
Soil had been washed away from
many farms and wells were covered with silt.
Roads were washed away, bridges
The army and navy were called out
for help. The army had to launch rescue operations in several places. The INS
‘Hamla’ rescued 40 people from the Sanataram lake, located east of Malad.
The police and fire brigade worked
overtime to clear roadblockades, answer
calls to rescue crushed cars, rush to areas reporting houses and wall
Air force helicopters air-dropped
nearly 4,000 loaves of bread, along with packets of jaggery and chutney over
the marooned villages. 50 bags of wheat flour had been rushed to these areas.
The public health department set
up special dispensaries at Aurangaabad, Panvel, Pune and other places to
prevent a possible outbreak of cholera and water-borne diseases.
In Pune, organisations like TELCO
and Bank of Maharashtra helped with the rescue work.
Volunteers from TISS, Yashwanti
Hikers from Khopoli, Abhijit Mitra Mandal, Vavoshi Mitra Mandal and other
agencies helped residents in Jambhulpada to clear the debris, repair damage
houses and distribute provisions and medicines to the people.
An amount of Rs.20,000 was to be
spent on rehabilitating each family evacuated from the flood-hit area. The
allocation for repairing damaged hutswould be raised from Rs.3,000 to Rs.10,000.
The compensation for the loss of
cattle would go up from Rs.2,000 to Rs.3,000 and for goats from Rs.250 to
Village artisans were to be given
Assistance of Rs.25,000 would be
given for sunk fishing boats.
Compensation of Rs.110 per head
upto a maximum of Rs.500 per family and 10 Kg of rice as the immediate benefit.
Subsidies will be provided to
replace lost cattle.
For repair of houses,Rs.8,000 would be given of which 25 per cent
would be the subsidy.
Alert signals : Though alert signals were issued to fishermen, they
were not heeded to, most probably because of the fact that there were as many
as 25 warnings issued in the past 44 days. Fishermen have asked for other
methods of warning like wailing of sirens, the flashing of signals etc.
Political Reaction :
Mrs. Mrinal Gore, leader of the
opposition in the Assembly, said that Dalits and Muslims living in the river
basin in Beed, werethe main victims of
the flood in the town.
Mr. D.N. Chaulkar, Congress,
blamed the Shiv Sena for the flood damage in Kurar village in Malad. He said
the Sena allowed unauthorised cattle sheds which contributed to choking of the
Mr. Ram Kapse, BJP, said that the
havoc was caused by government neglect and not misfortune. The government
mediacompletely failed to alert the
people against rains and floods. The government’s crisis management had also
The PWP claimed that many people
were left out of relief in Raigad.
The governmentdecided to rebuild Jambhulpada andother villages that were totally washed away
on account of the floods. These villages would be rebuilt in safer locations,
close to the site of the original villages.
A minimum plot of 1,000 sq.ft
would be allotted to each dishoused family. The government would build
tenements measuring 300 sq.ft., free of cost on each plot.
The cost ceiling for a dwelling
unit was doubled from Rs.10,000 to Rs,20,000. Subsidy was stepped up from
Rs.2,500 to Rs.10,000 in absolute terms, and from 25 per cent to 75 per cent of
the ceiling cost in percentage terms.
The total expenditure on relief
and rehabilitation was estimated at Rs.204 crore.
The government provided Rs.15,000
and another 6,000 rupees as loan for reconstructing houses.
Insurance: Most of the
industrial units did not have insurance cover against natural calamities.
Reliance suffered losses of Rs.200 crore but wasn’t insured againstfloods. In Roha Complex, only one unit was
Other aspects : Slum dwellers in Kasade were denied relief, because
a slum, by definition, was not a village.
Source : Newspaper Reports of the Period
Floods in Maharashtra : A report
Flash Floods in Wardha District
onJuly 30, 1991 led to many deaths in
this region, Mowad being the worst affected area.
Reason of occurrence : An embankment on the Wardha river was
breached at Mowad.
Roads connecting to Wardha region
were completely cutoff.
As many as five villages were
The rescue team could reach Mowad
only after 20 hours of the incident..
An enquirywas ordered by the state government into the
delay by the official machinery in informing the ChiefMinister and other top officials about the
tragedy in Mowad.
Damage caused : Over 800 houses collapsed and 2000 heads of cattle
died in Mowad. The village post-office was also washed away.
River condition : Most of the rivers and rivulets were in spate
following heavy rains.
All the damsin Amravati district were overflowing.
Political reaction :
Mr. Dharamchand Choradia
maintained that residents on both banks had been given no warning by the dam
authorities who opened the sluice-gates.
The government was flayed in the
Assembly by the opposition for its slackness in providing relief. The
opposition also demanded the CM’s resignation.
The army and navy were called for
Many visitors to the area hindered
Need for relief camp was felt.
Reliefwork undertaken : (in
Amravati and Nagpur districts)
Removal of debris with help from
military and the Nagpur municipal corporation.
Temporary shelters were erected
for 3,274 familiesin Nagpur and 2,500
families in Amravati.
An amount of Rs.70 lakh was
released for purchase of medicines. Care was taken to supply disinfected
drinking water to the affected areas.
Other points : Apetition
was filed in the Supreme Court for granting compensation of Rs.3 lakh per
Norms for Financial Assistance :
Considering the severityand magnitude of this calamity and damages,
the state government adopted the following norms for assistance to the affected
The next ofkin ofdeceased/missing persons will be eligible for an assistance of Rs.20,000
from the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund, irrespective of age and sex.
The persons rendered destitute due
to this calamity, will be eligible for an assistance of Rs.250 (Rs.10 per head
per day upto 15 days for covering the expenses on food and Rs.100 per head for
purchases of utensils and clothings).
The owners of partially damaged
houses will be eligible for an assistance of Rs.8,000 for repairs of the houses
(25 per cent subsidy and remaining loan).
The owners of fully damaged houses
will be eligible to get a subsidy of Rs.20,000 (Rs.10,000 from the calamity
relief fund and Rs.10,000 from the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund). This
assistance will be given only if the owner is willing to shift to a designated
safe place. Steps will be taken for securing loans of Rs.5,000 from HUDCO, HDFC
or public financial institutions, if required for the reconstruction of fully
damaged houses if the cost exceeds Rs.20,000. For reconstruction of damaged
huts, a subsidy of Rs.10,000per hut
will be given, provided the owner of the hut is ready to shift to the new safe
site. Here also, if the cost of reconstrcution exceeds Rs.10,000, attempts will
be made to raise the additional amounts as loans.
For the loss of cattle, the owners
will be eligible for assistance of Rs.3,000 per head of cattle for purchase of
new cattle (25 per cent subsidy and remaining loan).
For loss of sheep/goat, the owners
will be eligible for an assistance of Rs.350 per sheep/goat.
The affected rural artisans will
be eligible for assistance ofRs.5,000
out of which Rs.1,000 or 50 per cent of the damage, whichever is less, will be
subsidy, and the remaining loan.
The affected farmers more, than 50
per cent of whose crops have been damaged, will be eligible to get an
assistance of Rs.1,000 per hectare, subject to a ceiling of2 hectares. The assistance will be given in
kind. If the input for resowing are not available, the assistance will be given
The affected farmers, whose lands
have been damaged, will be eligible to get an assistance of upto Rs.2,000 per
hectare (depending on the assessment of the extent of damage), upto a ceiling
of 2 hectares of land.
Weavers have been included in the
village artisans category. Each affected weaver will be given an assistance of
Rs.3,000 (Rs.1,000 from Calamity Relief Fund and Rs.2,000 under scheme for
renovation of looms).
Source : Newspaper reports of the period and
memorandum on situation relating to natural calamities, heavy rains and flash
floods in Maharashtra State, June to July 1991, Government of Maharashtra.
the original source of the data.
KEL Kelkar Y. N. (1968)
OLD Oldham (1883)
REP Report of the Committee of Experts,
Koyna Earthquake of ilth December 1967.
MIL Milne (1911)
TOI Times of India, Daily Newspaper
STA Statesman, Calcutta (News daily)
ISS International Seismological Summary
IMD India Meteorological Department
GSI Geological Survey of India
KAR Singh and Setumadhaan (1965)
CGS Coast and Geodetic Survey
CWP Central Water and Power Research Station,
HYB N. G.
R. I. Seismological Observatory, Hyderabad
MERI: Maharashtra Engineering Research Institute,
: United States Geological Survey
2Earthquakes as below are only included in the
list in the following seismically active areas.
smaller magnitude earthquakes are not included.-
For Koyna-Wama and Killari
area :M >=5.0
Khardi (Bhatsa) area : M >=4.0
Medhi (Surya) area: M >=3.8
3. *Earthquake outside
Case Study of Two Industrial Accidents
Petrochemicals Corporation Limited : An on-site accident at IPCL - MGCC complex
An explosion followed by a fire
took place in the Maharashtra Gas Cracker Complex (MGCC) of M/s Indian
Petrochemicals Corporation Ltd., (IPCL)at Nagothane on 5th November, 1990 at about 7:15 p.m. The
site of the accident was the feedstock and product ethylene, chilling and
storage section of the out-side battery limit (OSBL) unit of the gas cracker
plant in the complex. The main gas cracker plant or inside battery limit (ISBL)
and also other facilities in the complex were intact.
With timely action of the fire
wing of the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), who are responsible for
fire-fighting services in MGCC (assisted laters by fire tenders from RCF, Thal,
ONGC, Uran, HOCL, Rasayani, District fire brigades at Roha, Alibag, Thane and
Mumbai), the fire was brought under control, and the spread of fire to adjacent
areas of tankage and spheres was arrested. This resulted in minimisation of
damage and casualties. The accident, though major in nature, remained at the
scale of an on-site emergency.
Site of the accident
The mother unit of the MGCC is
the gas cracker plant. The areas covered by the plant are broadly divided into
ISBL: Gas cracker
plant with cracking heaters and separation section.
OSBL: Feedstock receipt,
chilling and storage and product/by-product storage.
The accident occurred in the OSBL
At about 7.00 p.m. on 5/11/90
some of the officers working in the OSBL control room, heard a noise typical of
gasket rupture followed by a hissing sound typical of leakage of gas in the
feedstock, chilling and storage section of the plant in the OSBL. Immediately,
some of the personnel in and outside the OSBL control room rushed to take
remedial action to stop the flow in the plant.The concerned plant in-charge ordered that the plant should be shut down
and that the CISF fire brigade should be asked to rush to the spot. Action to
shutdown the plant was initiated. The first fire tender arrived near the spot
within three minutes of the call. Judging from the location of the bodies, it
appears that, before the firemen could commence the fire fighting operations,
an aerial explosion took place, followed by fire which engulfed the area.
Fire fighting operation
With the help of firemen from the
first fire tender and those from the tenders that followed, as well as the
fire-water network in the area, the fire was fought by CISF personnel under
supervision of IPCL officials. The immediate concern was to contain the
hydrocarbon fuelled fire and prevent any secondary explosion, a
possibilityin such accidents.
On the north side of the offsite
unit were four large double walled (DW) tanks for storing C2/C3 feedstock and
ethylene. On the east side were propylene Horton sphere storage tanks. The fire
tracing itself to the tanks could have assumed a large magnitude. One of the
actions taken, was to actuate a foam system and a water spray system that form
an integral part of the design and engineering of the storage tanks. The DW
tanks are enclosed with a dyke wall with a system of foam spray. The activation
of the foam ensured that the space between the DW tanks and the dyke wall was
filled up by foam, preventing the fire from spreading. The water spray system
on the DW tanks as well as the Horton spheres were automatically actuated,
enabling the tanks to remain in a cool condition. A small fire near the DW
tanks was put off immediately by a brave CISF fireman.
The second action was to fight
the remaining hydrocarbon fueled fire in the offsite area, and control itwith cooling off of many other equipments in
the vicinity in order to avoid the spread of heat to adjoining areas. The fire
brigades of RCF, ThalRoha, Pen and
Mumbai were also requisitioned. As a result of the relentless fire fighting
operations, the fire was brought under control. The remaining fire died out by
midnight after which cooling continued till the early hours of 6th
Rescue and relief operations
Responsibilities were assigned to
specific officers to take care of various tasks involved in the removal of dead
bodies, medical attention to injured etc. In the meantime, doctors assembled in
the IPCL hospital. The police control had sent messages, including alerting the
civil hospital at Alibag. The civil surgeon and chief medical officer there,
Dr. Sharad Hoshing, quickly assembled a team of doctors and medical staff.
Since most of the injured had
high percentage (60 % plus) of third degree burns, they were shifted to Alibag
hospital for emergency treatment and then to Sion and J.J. hospitals in Mumbai.
Ambulance support came from within IPCL and externally from Alibag civil
hospital, RCF, Shiv Sena and HOCL.
On-site support for moving the
injured to Alibag and then to Mumbai, came from various quarters.
The district authorities led by
Shri Ganesh Walawalker, district collector, and the police led by Shri Rakesh
Maria, superintendent of police were at the site by 9.00 p.m.and did a commendable job in quickly organising
their forces,renderingassistance in fighting the fire and
transportation of victims to hospitals. The police wireless network was used
extensively in communication. They also rendered assistance in communicating
with the population in the vicinity of the complex, which helped in arresting
panic among the residents of nearby villages and in the restoration of
Within IPCL, the message was
relayed to Baroda and an emergency plan was drawn up. Clear cut communications
were sent to internal personnel with a director in-charge of each facet ofthe operation. Shri Sarup Chowdhary, director
(marketing) who rushed to Mumbai on the night of 5th November, was
made in-charge of theworkof covering support forces at Sion/JJ
hospitals, contacting relatives,arranging for their travel to Mumbai, procedural formalities and
handling of the dead etc. The concerned regional offices/sales centres and
distributors of IPCL were also utilised in arranging for the contact and travel
of relatives. IPCL RO Mumbai, MGCC-JVPD and CATAD office employees were
organised for rotational duty at hospitals as well for blood donation.
A control room in the MGCC office
of IPCL at Mumbai was setupand manned
round the clock. The control room enabled coordination of activities among
Nagothane, Baroda, regional office, hospitals and CISF. Despite constraints in
communication between Nagothane and Mumbai, (there being only one hotline
between Nagothane and MGCC Office in Mumbai, whose operation was also
interrupted due to technical problems and a stir by the telecom personnel) this
round the clock control room at the Mumbai office of MGCC was helpful in
providing information relating to the victims, coordination of the family
members, travel to Mumbai, management of volunteers and IPCL medical support in
hospitals, procedural formalities.
Shri S.K. Mukherjee, director
(personnel) who also rushed to Mumbai on the same night,and then to Nagothane, was incharge of
Nagothane related activities. A major part of his work pertained to meeting
people within IPCL, neighbouring villages, local leaders and local authorities
to clearly communicate on the event. His endeavours also included bringing back
the morale of employees and quickly working out ex-gratia and other assistance
to the affected people. In order to ensure that correct information was given
to the public(as unsubstantiated
rumours were in circulation in neighbouring areas), a number of prominent local
leaders were taken to the site of the accident and were given complete information
about the accident and the victims.
It was ensured that important
personnel in the central government and Maharashtra state government were
informed and a clear picture provided. The press personnel were allowed to
visit Nagothane and the site of the accident within the complex, once it was
clear that the fire fighting operation was complete in all respects. This was
when the fire had died, the equipments/area totally cooled down by the water
spray and an examination revealed that the place is free from any further
The mediawas given full details in the spirit of
IPCL’s policy of openness in corporate communications, as also to dispel
rumours. A separate press conference was organised at Baroda on 6th
evening and addressed by Shri N. Chandar, director (finance), who was requested
to stay back in Baroda to take care of the Baroda related matters.
Secretary, Chemicals and
Petrochemicals, GOI, visited the site on 7th November, 1990, and
addressed a press conference on the same afternoon in Mumbai. At Nagothane,
Shri Gill had a detailed review with IPCL and EIL officers, and instructed that
a detailed photo documentation be done and safeguarding of all evidence and
records be ensured. He also mentioned that a fully empowered task force with
financial powers will be setup to facilitate speedy rebuilding of the plant and
that a comprehensive and thorough inquiry will be conducted by a government
appointed committee. Accordingly, a committee was formed by the GOI, under
chairmanship of Dr. R. A. Mashelkar.
Government enquiry committee
The enquiry committee appointed
by the GOI, visited the site on 21st and 22nd of
November, 1990. After visual inspection of the OSBL plant and other damaged
items around the plant, the committee asked for some specific photographs and
some metal samples for testing. The committee visited Nagothane again on 16th
December, 1990, and agreed for removal of all debris and insulation in OSBL
plant and surrounding areas.
The recommendations from this
committee of secretaries have been implemented mostly before restartof the complex, and, rest immediately before
II. Fire at
Aromatic Tank Farm at BPCL
It was Wednesday, November 9th,
1988, and a holiday for the refinery, except for some essential activities.
Loading of rail tank wagons was also being carried out that day. However, being
lunch time the actual loading operations were temporarily suspended. Workers
were taking lunch, sitting in small groups in the open areas of the
distribution unit. Some had retired to the lunch rooms away from the site of
At 11.55 a.m. a fire call from
the Aromatic Unit was received and within minutes there was a turnout of all
the fire vehicles and ambulances from the refinery fire station. Immediately
after assessing the intensity of the fire, thefire callwailing siren was
The fire originated as a massive
fire ball / vapour cloud and engulfed an area of approximately 150 metres in
radius, covering the Aromatic tankfarm, its pumphouse, area used for despatch
of packing bitumen, alongwith products, andthe rail tank wagon loading gantry.
Two or three explosions were
heard in short intervals before the fire engulfed the area. Apart from above
locations, the surrounding locations right from north-east to south-west were
also enveloped with minor fires and intense heat. Thick black clouds darkened
the sky above the refinery and could be seen from far. The catastrophic
proportions of the incident could be gauged by the loudexplosions and the height of the leaping
flames. The explosions were heard upto a radius of 5 kms and the flames could
be seen from as far as 20 kms. A slow wind blowing from the south-east to
north-west at a velocity of 1 metre per second was making fire fighting
operation extremely difficult from the road right nextto the tankfarm.
The refinery being a continuous
process unit, dealing with hazardous materials, has a proven and time tested
emergency handling response plan. Minor fires are tackled by the fire station
and the personnel working in the refinery at that moment. However, in the event
of a major emergency or a serious fire, when the wailing siren is sounded, all
key personnel are immediately informed on telephone about the location of the
incident, andall residents of the staff
colony turn out immediately to take up pre-assigned positions.
According to the plan, the key
locations are pre-identified; and these are : the scene of the fire, entry
gates to the refinery, control post-office which is immediately established close
to the scene of the fire, the medical centre and the administration head
quarters to establish channels of communication.
The refinery general manager
becomes the chief co-ordinator to direct all operations in conjunction with the
co-ordinators to put the disaster control Plan in action. He becomes the focal
point of liaison with co-ordinators through out. In the process he is assisted
by the dy. general manager (operations) who becomes the incident controller /
plant co-ordinator at the scene of the fire. He is distinguished bya red jacket. The dy. general manager (engg)
takes on the control post duty as engineering co-ordinator. He is distinguished
by a blue jacket. dy. manager (tech) and sr. fire and safety manager direct all
fire fightingoperations in liaison with
the incident controller at the site of the emergency. The chief technical
services manager takes control of the essential back-up services at the fire
station (the headquarters) where all mutual aid responses assemble. All
residents from the colony who do not have a pre-determined role, are required
to assemble and await duties connected with the fire station,dy. general manager (P and A) takes on the
very important role ofpress/public
relations officer to deal with the public and outside agencies. The chief staff
and administrative services manager takes up his position at the fire station
to be available close on hand to meet all the requirements of administration
follow-up,canteen services, rest room
arrangements, hot snacks supply etc. The security / medical co-ordinator works
in close liaison with the press / public relations officer.
Immediately after the major
emergency call was sounded, the Bombay fire brigade was alerted on hot line and
soon thereafter, all mutual aid members werecontacted for help. Fire vehicles on arrival at the scene of the fire,
noticed huge flames all around covering
bitumen stacking area near the
product despatch Gantry
road 7, storm water channel
road 3, storm water channel
northeast area of aromatic unit
A portion ofthe canopy ofproduct despatch had blown up as a result of the explosion. At that
time, the most urgent actions required, were attacking the fire from all fronts
to contain it,preventing its spread and
giving urgent medical attention to the victims suffering from burn injuries by
removing them immediately to hospitals.
While the fire fighting started
in full swing, people from all areas rushed with all the vehicles like cars,
jeeps, vans etc., and helped moving the injured persons to the medical centre
for the first aid. The entire activity of moving the injured personnel to the
outside hospitals was done in great speed and was completed within one hour by
sending advance teams to the hospital authorities for urgent attention to the
injured on arrival.
With the arrival of the Bombay
fire brigade, the mutual aid and BPCL’s fire department personnel, there were
as many as 15 fire tenders in operation by 1.00 p.m., fighting the fire from
all directions. Cooling of the tanks which was on through fixed water
sprinklers on the tanks was further intensified by water jets operated from
hydrant tappings and portable fire appliances were deployed near the dyked wall
in close proximity to the burning tanks. Foam was directed through the fixed
foam risers of nearby floating roof tanks. By 2.00 p.m., the fire in the
bitumen and PDF gantry, and all other fires except the fire in the tankfarm
were completely put out.Fire fighting
operations were fully directed to the tankfarm areas where one tank and the
surrounding area was totally engulfed in flames.
It was very important now to cool
the tanks, not only with the fixed water spray system,but also direct additional jets of water for
cooling. The fire in the tanks remained unabated and engulfed two other tanks
in the area. At the fire site, fire fighting operations were fully streamlined,
with the fighters from the refinery, mutual aid members, Bombay fire brigade,
ONGC, BPT etc., who were workingclosely
with zone fireco-ordinators as well as
fire station staff, to contain the fireand prevent it from spreading.
By lateevening, a totalof four tanks were engulfed by the fire and
were allowed to burn under controlled conditions. At this time, a tank at the
southernmost end of the tankfarm caught fire at its breather valves, causing
immediate concern. The incident controller along with the BPCL fire chief,
sensing the danger of the fire escalating, sent a group of four refinery fire
fighters up the burning tank with hand held portable extinguishers to put out
the flame. This was done successfully by putting out the flames from two
opposite directions in spite of a frightening rumbling sound from under the
roof. Had it not been for their timely brave and courageous act in the face of
all odds, and to grave risk to their life, the situation could have worsened
and possibly led to let more tanks being involved in the fire.
The huge flames and heat inside
the tankfarm were now getting more intense, and the fire fighting personnel in
close proximity had to withdraw to safer locations. However, the unending
streams of water for coolingcontinued
while changing the position of the portable monitors.
At 4.00 a.m. on the 10th,while the fire fighters were continuously
tacking the fire, one of the tanks which had caved in and distorted suddenly
opened out with a loud sound emitting thick black smoke and the fire crossed
over the dyke wall into the storm water channel and pipe track area. This was
effectively contained, but the fire was reflashing and travelling back.
However, due to constant pumping of foam and effectively bunding certain areas
in the storm water channel with sand bags, this was extinguished with
By this time, the fire was being
attacked from allfour sides in full
swing. Many fire fighters were on the dyke wall very near to the burning tank
area. Both at the fire station as well as at the fire site, a duty roster was
prepared for the night ahead as well as the following day. It was known by now that the affected tanks
may have to be allowed to burn out andefforts were concentrated in containing the fire and cooling the
Maintenance of supplies to the
fire site from the fire station, which was established immediately after the
fire, was organised such that the arterial road 3 and 7 were constantly fed
with the supply of hoses, sand, different types of foams, dry chemical powder,
small portable extinguisher and other specialised equipment needed at the fire
site. An estimate of foam requirements were carried out, suppliers of foam
stock with them were contacted, and vehicles despatched to bring in the
necessary foams. Arrangements were also made to bring in foam from
Thane-Belapur industrial belt.
On the administration and public
relations front, a constant follow-up was maintained with the hospitals and
nursing homes where the fire affected victims wereundergoing treatments for burn injuries.. At
the same time, essential medical supplies were being obtained from all sources
with the help of BPCL personnel stationed at these hospitals. Members of the
public soon learnt of the huge fire through press and TV coverage. Some of
BPCL’s staff who were on leave,rushed
to the refinery on hearing the newswhile some others,out of the
city at other locations, cancelled their leave and made themselves available
for help the following day. By the 10th morning, the fire was well
under control and only the residual material in the tanks were being allowed to
burn out. The fire was fully under control by mid-day on the 10th
and finally put out by 4.00 p.m. Full control was established in 20 hours and
it took a total of 28 hours to put out the last remnants of the fire.
Vulnerability, thatis,“the degree to which a community is at risk from the occurrence of
extreme physical or natural phenomena, where risk refers to the probability of
occurrence and the degree to which ‘socio-economic and socio-political factors’
affect the community’s capacity to absorb and recover from extreme phenomena
(Westgate and O’Keefe. 1976. SomeDefinitions of Disaster,) is complex, dynamic, cumulative, sometimes
irreversible and frequently impossible to contain. According to Terry Jeggle
and Rob Stephenson, “Vulnerability is a set of prevailing or consequential
conditions of physical, socio-economic and/or political factors which increase
a community’s susceptibility to calamity or which adversely affect its ability
to respond to events.
is the product of interactions between natural and environmental forces and
human, social and political constructs. The distinctions between vulnerability
from a hazardand vulnerability from
socio-economic status, is a false one; vulnerability is a term which embraces
not merely risk from extreme phenomena but also the endemic conditions inherent
in a particular society that may aggravate the risk.
initially, conventional models linked vulnerability to cause and effect, that
is, the physical vulnerability of the area leading to the vulnerability of the
population, recent studies have clearlylinked vulnerability with development – the emphasis being on minimising
avoidable suffering rather than just maximising safety. Therefore, itis more important to improve living
conditions and reduce social imbalances, the causes of which are internally
generated in societies where suffering is found, and are predictable and occur
Winchester’s model, based on differential vulnerability, takes these factors
into account. His vulnerability model for a household or a community, takes
into account those relationships and processes that are external and internal,
and which affects its vulnerability. He identifies the external relationships
and processes as being climate, physiography, the social relationshipsproduction and development policies (after
Blaike (1981). “Class, land use, and soil erosion”).According to Blaike, the social relations of
production were the result of the interaction between the political economy,
“the systems within which problems are defined and decisions taken”. The
political economy context is basically the product of the inter-relationship
between : climate and physiography, the social relations of production and
historical development policies.
Winchesteradds the relationship between
production, exchange and consumption (after Sen (1981).Poverty
and Famines, and Swift (1989). “Why are rural people vulnerable to
famine”.Sen showed that famines could
take place even if there were no production failures and he identifiedfailures in the exchange market mechanisms
(wage labour, agricultural and pastoral commodity markets). In Sen’s view,
vulnerability to famine was a direct function of relative poverty, and relative
poverty is a direct function of a household’s ownership of tangible endowments
(assets of land, labour and animals and the rate at which it can exchange these
expanded on this and said that one way of measuring vulnerability is through
asset accumulation or depletion over time. He proposes a model which identifies
three types of assets – investments (human investments, individual productive
assets and collective assets),stores
(food stores, stores of value like gold, money or restore bank accounts) and
claims (claims on other households, on government, on NGOs, on international
and Swift’s groupings directly affect the asset levels of households (or
communities) and these in turn directly affect the risk-reduction and
risk-diffusion strategies that a household may be able to use, thus giving a
conceptual model of vulnerability.
A Conceptual Model of Vulnerability (by
PhysiographySocial Relations of Production Development
vulnerability assessment framework proposed by Mary B. Andersonidentifies four steps. identifying the hazards – scientific and technical information
about the likelihood or probability of the occurrence. The magnitude,
frequency, scope and duration of the hazards are incorporated in this step. Identifying exposure – identifying the
individuals, groups and communities that are most exposed to any given
hazard.Identifying the complex sources of the hazard – incorporating the
complexity and interrelatedness of natural, social and developmental factors,
taking time and space dimensions into
consideration – taking into account the dynamic change and interrelatedness of
factors that affect vulnerability.
Vulnerability Assessment Framework ( of Mary
Step 1 :
What? Identifying Hazards
Human systems based hazards
Step 2 :
Who? Identifying Exposure
Step 3 :
Identifying the Complex Sources of the Hazard
History : What happened to
make vulnerability high?
Who was involved in the
decisions and choices ?
What are their economic,
social, political and psychological characteristics ?
Who is the most affected by
the decisions and choices ?
: Time and Space Dimensions
Trends?What ? Local ?
? Global ?
Irreversible? Who ? Interconnected ?
divides his vulnerability model on the basis of the physical sources of vulnerabilities, that is, spatial (location and geography), material (possession or access to land and other material assets)
and demographic (details of
household),the social sources of vulnerabilities, that is, isolation levels,
information level andlevel of
institutionalisation, and motivational
sources of vulnerability, that is, the coping ability and self-reliance.
1. Disaster Management Action Plan for the State ofMaharashtra, June 1995,
The office of the
special commissioner for earthquake relief and rehabilitation.
2. Report of Workshop on Disaster Management, May 1995,
rehabilitation Cell, Government of Maharashtra.
3. Report of the expert committee on seismology, January
Department, Government of Maharashtra
Action Plans (1993) – Eastern Suburb, Western Suburb and City
Corporation of Greater Bombay. (Marathi document)
5. Note on Cyclonic storms in Arabian sea and Cyclone
Warning System for Maharashtra
Cyclone warning Centre, Regional MET Centre, Mumbai.
6. The Marathwada Earthquake Report,An enquiry into the relief measures,
People’s tribunal on environment and human rights, the third report.
7. Natural hazards and natural disaster reduction in Asia
and the Pacific, 1995,
social commission for Asia and the Pacific,
8. Mary B. Anderson, “Vulnerability to Disaster and
Sustainable Development : A
for Assessing Vulnerability”.
Prevention for Sustainable Development, Economic and Policy issues,
Caroline Clarke, ed.(1994),
IDNDR and World
9. Panwalkar V. G.
Social Dimensions of Natural Disaster (floods), An Analysis of some
10. Dr. Yvon Ambroise,
CARITAS, India in the Earthquake affected
Latur District, Maharashtra.
11. Atiur Rahman, (1991)
A study in
Institution Building in Bangladesh, International conference on the Impact
UCLA, Los Angles
12. Peter Winchester, (1992)
A case study in
Disaster Management in South India,
James and James
Science Publishers Ltd., London,
13. Fredrick C. Cuny, (1983)
University Press, New York
14. Harsh K. Gupta, (1992)
India - An overview,
Vol. 62, number 1 and 2
15. Report of workshop on Natural Disasters and Human
Settlements, (June 1996)
Management Institute, New Delhi.
16. Social and Sociological Aspects, (1986)
Prevention and Mitigation,
17. Newspaper reports of
the last 20 years.
The Times of India, Indian Express, Mid-day,
Loksatta, Maharashtra Times,
Annotated Bibliography on Disaster Management
1. Alam, Nurul S.M. 1991.
“Conquering Nature : Myth and the Reality of Flood Control in Bangladesh”,
Paper Prepared for Presentation at the UCLA International Conference on the
Impact of Natural Disasters, UCLA, Los Angeles, California, USA.
This paper was written in the
backdrop of the experience of the two catastrophic floods of198 and 1988 to
focus on certain existing myths regarding the causes of and ways to mitigate
flood. According to the author, some of the prevalent myths are : Devastating
flood is always caused by high precipitation; flooding is caused by
deforestation in the upstream Himalayas; flooding in the floodplains can be
controlled by building embankments etc. This paper takes the position that
flooding in Bangladesh is not a mere physical and hydraulic phenomenon and
there is no exclusive engineering blue-print for its solution. It is suggested
that an attempt can be made to complement structural with non-structural
measures. An attempt is made to describe the ways people conceptualise flood
emphasising that people’s participation and responses should be taken into
consideration before a comprehensive flood mitigation programme is undertaken.
The paper argues for a holistic approach towards flood amelioration combining
both physical structures and sociocultural responses in the floodplains. The
paper also takes exception to the ambitious initiatives to combat flood through
building embankments which Alam feels will create ecological disaster thus
“creating disaster by the attempt to manage disaster.”
2. Bates, Frederick L., andWalter Gillis Peacock. 1991. “The
Cross-Cultural Measurement of Disaster Impact with Respect to Household Living
Conditions”, Paper prepared for presentation at the UCLA conference on the
Impact of Natural Disasters : Agenda for Future Action, Los Angeles,
California, July 10-12, 1991.
Since disasters of any given type
are relatively rare in any particular cultural setting, the accumulation of
knowledge on such phenomena requires the bringing together of research findings
obtained in different cultural contexts spread across the globe. For these
reasons disaster research would be considerably facilitated if a set of
pretested cross-culturally valid field work instruments were developed and made
ready for immediate use.A “tool kit” of
pretested instruments would allow field workers to go into the field quickly,
using comparable data collection methods and instruments, thus making the
comparison of research results possible. The research thus focuses on
developing a scale which would (1) measure impact in the case of any disaster
which produces high physical damage and (2) to do so in such a way as to make
the scale usable in any cultural setting or in any community, regardless of
level of economic development of the society. The conclusion was that the
domestic asset scale is a valid instrument for measuring living conditions
ona cross-cultural basis since the
scale seemed to have worked in all countries, regardless of level of
development or culture.
3. Blaikie, Peter., Cannon Terry,
Davis Ian and Wisner Ben. 1994. At Risk: natural hazards, people’s
vulnerability and disasters. Routledge, London and New York.
The book suggests ways in which
both social and natural sciences can be analytically combined through a
“disaster pressure and release” model.The author explore the extent and ways in which people can gain access
to resources to counter vulnerabilities. Vulnerability and Hazard Types cover
disasters like famine and natural hazards, biological hazards, floods, coastal
storms, earthquakes, volcanoes and landslides. Part III of the book focuses on
Disaster Reduction through relief and reconstruction and building a safer
environment. The book draws practical and policy conclusions for disaster
reduction and reducing vulnerability.
4. Cochrane, Hal. 1991. “The
Principle of Damage Assessment Applied to the Loma-Prieta Earthquake and
Hurricane Hugo”, International Conference on “The Impact of Disasters”,
University of California, Los Angeles.
In Hal Cochrane’s opinion loss
estimation is imprecise, based on an incomplete and erroneous conceptual
foundation and relies on hastily collected and inaccurate data. With few
exceptions, the purpose of loss studies is all too often politically motivated.
The paper, therefore, tries to
set down an internationally consistent set of principles to assist in the
preparation of losses from natural and man-made hazards. Illustrations drawn
from the Loma-Prieta Earthquake (San Francisco, 1989) and Hurricane Hugo
(Charleston, 1989) are furnished to illustrate several important points.
5. Cuny, Fredrick C. 1983. Disasters
and Development, Oxford University Press.
Fredrick Cuny makes clear that
disasters are largely preventable, even when natural catastrophes are beyond
human control or even prediction. Beyond this, a major contribution of the book
is to significantly advance understanding of the interactions between disaster
and poverty; between disaster recovery needs and ongoing development needs; and
between the relief and development assistance strategies and programs of aid
Poor people are the most frequent
victims of disasters. Cuny shows why the poor are especially vulnerable to
natural and political catastrophes. similarly, disasters may further entrench
or exacerbate poverty; or seen from another perspective, interrupt or reverse
the progress of poor people in achieving self-reliant development. On the other
hand, a disaster may open a society to development possibilities. Cuny explores
several notions of how a disaster, for all its destructiveness, presages
possibilities for development.
6. Daranandana, Niwat. 1991.
“Impact of Flooding Disaster in Thailand”, International Conference on “The
Impact of Disasters”, University of California, Los Angeles.
Flooding protection and drainage
problem has played an important role in urban land management and development.
Drainage engineers insist seriously in solving drainage problems in such a way
that the flood prevention measures are important enough to put all other
concerns such as the environment and social issues aside.
The first part of this paper
reveals the impact on environment and social issues caused by flooding
prevention measures in Bangkok and its vicinity since 1975. The second part of
the presentation concentrates on the impact of the environment as a result of
debris flow and landslide caused by heavy rainfall at Nakorn Srithammarat
province, south of Thailand in November 1988. The objective of the presentation
is to show various impact on environmental problems as resulted from flooding
prevention measures in Bangkok.
7. Disaster Prevention.
1994-1995. United Nations Development Programme, Nordic Information Office.
In the year leading up to the
World Summit for Social Development, 1995, UNDP was involved in funding and
commissioning numerous studies into what they felt to be pressing issues. This
document contains various articles related to security from disasters in the
light ofhuman rights. The document
concerns itself with ways and means to enhance human life and create an
enabling economic, political and legal environment conducive to social
development at all levels. As Inge Kaul argues in the article “Human
Security…”, human security involves not just protection for people against
excessive volatility and reversal in living conditions, but people should also
be able to ensure their own basic livelihood and security.
Development is the most important
ingredient but development which is pro nature and not development that damages
the environment. There are other articles on “Early Warning”, “Global
Security”, “The Peace Imperative”, “Redefining Security” etc.
8. Disaster Prevention and
Mitigation.1986. Vol.12, “Social and Sociological Aspects”,United Nations, New York, USA
A systematic review of experience
provides the basis for a better understanding of the social dynamics of
disasters, and is anecessity for
effective disaster preparedness and post-disaster response. This publication
attempts to summarise various aspects of the impact of disaster on societies,
review the findings of experience and social science studies regarding
individual and organisational behaviour in emergency situations and suggest how
social science information about individual and organisational behaviour in
emergency situations can contribute to the prevention of or preparation for
disasters, and to the better management of assistance in disasters. While the
general goal of the publication is to present existing knowledge about the
social aspects of emergencies, it is also intended to provide a framework for
raising new and additional questions. The publication is written for a broad
audience of persons involved in pre-disaster planning and emergency response
activities, including persons engaged in programme implementation, planning and
policy formulation. The social aspects of emergency situations are not simply
an issue to be dealt with in local-level programming, but are an important
consideration at all administrative levels, from specific programmes in
individual communities to national and international assistance.
The concern of this publication
is with “natural” disaster situations, such as earthquakes, cyclones, flooding,
and tornadoes, and emphasis has been given to large scale emergencies, more
towards the catastrophic end of the scale, than to small, localised events.
While the social considerations of “man-made” emergencies such as explosions
and fires, toxic substance spills, and transportation accidents have not been
included, many of the observations about human and organisational behaviour
mentioned in this publication are relevant.
9. Disasters, Planning, and
Development: Managing Natural Hazards to Reduce Loss. 1990. Department of
Regional Development and Environment with support from the Office of Foreign
Disaster Assistance/US Agency of International Development.
Despite the cost-effectiveness of
mitigation measures, more than 90 per cent of international funding for natural
hazard management in the region is spent on disaster preparedness, relief,
rehabilitation, and reconstruction, leaving less than 10 per cent for
prevention before a disaster.
This book, a synthesis of the
natural hazard experience of the Department of Regional Development and
Environment of the Organisation of American States argues that the “most
effective approach to reducing the long-term impact of natural hazards is to
incorporate natural hazard assessment and mitigation activities into the
process of integrated development planning and investment project formulation
The book is directed towards
decision makers in the member states and in development assistance agencies
with the hope of influencing them to incorporate natural hazard considerations
early in the process of integrated development planning and investment project
formulation, to increase the proportion of expenditures for prevention activities
relative to rehabilitation and reconstruction.
10. Drabek, Thomas E. 1986. Human System Responses to Disaster,
Springer-Verlag New York Inc., New York.
Drabek divides the life cycle of
a disaster event into eight more-or-less discrete processes and categorises
responses into one of six systemic levels. Based on this categorisation, Drabek
undertakes an inventory of existing publications using the search word
“disaster”. These are classified under Planning, Warning, Evacuation,
Post-impact Emergency operations, Restoration, Reconstruction, Hazard
Perception and Attitude toward and the Adoption of Adjustments. Based on this
inventory, Drabek elaborates the priorities for disaster research, several
topics meriting exploration-research questions still awaiting scholarly
11. Emergency Management Guide
for Business and Industry. Sponsored by a Public-Private Partnership with
the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
This guide provides step-by-step
advice on how to create and maintain a comprehensive emergency management
program. Section 1 looks at the aspects to go into while forming a planning
team, how to conduct a vulnerability analysis and how to implement the
plan.Section 2 reveals how to build emergency
management capabilities as life safety, property protection, communications and
community outreach. Section 3 provides technical information about the hazards
that a industry might face while Section 4 gives additional information
12. FAMINE : Man-Made
Disaster?. 1985. A Report for the Independent Commission on International
Humanitarian Issues,Vintage Books, New
The report, written for a
top-level international commission, is a devastating, non-partisan analysis of
the elements that have brought starvation to Africa - and how they can be
changed. It shows how famine conditions, which afflict so much of the Third
World, have been brought about largely by man-made mistakes in policy and
management rather than by natural catastrophes. Over-intensity farming, loss of
top-soil and ignorance of proper irrigation contributed to situation in Africa
long before the drought delivered the coup
Many of these conditions have
been the results of policy decisions, some of the most damaging of which were
made by development “experts.” Bigger food handouts cannot prevent future
famines, but with understanding and aid from the outside world, African resilience
and resourcefulness can bring about steady recovery and rearrange the
inequitable distribution of food into a system that provides enough for all.
13. Foster, H.D. “Disaster Plans”
from Disaster Planning : The Preservation of Life and Property,
Springer-Verlag, New York.
Foster list the typical contents
of a disaster plan and clearly mentions that nodisaster plan is likely to prove effective if it does not have the
strong support of senior members of the government for which it is being
prepared.For a truly effective disaster
plan to be prepared the safety plan coordinator and his committee must be
cognizant of the hazards facing the community.Detailed information about the probable locationsand scale of expected damage and casualties
are required if the demands likely to be placed on personnel and equipment are
to be predicted and accommodated. Each disaster plan should also include a
section devoted to simulations of probable disasters which include predictions
of the type and extent of damage, the nature and scale of probable casualties
and the various needs and responsibilities that these circumstances generate.
The extract highlights the importance of proper communication channels,
evacuation procedures, location and nature of emergency shelters, control rooms
14. Gastal, Alfredo. 1991.
“Economic and Social Consequences of Natural Disasters in Latin America and the
Caribbean”, International Conference on “The Impact of Disasters”, University
of California, Los Angeles.
Natural disasters are the subject
of this paper. This paper presents an estimate of social and economic
consequences of natural disasters in Latin Americaand the Caribbean, with a view to justify the
undertaking of disaster prevention and planning activities in the region, based
on information collected by the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin
America and the Caribbean (ECLAC). Using a damage assessment methodology
developed by ECLAC detailed analyses were carried out to determine the social
and economic consequences of selected major disasters which occurred in Latin
America and the Caribbean during the period 1972-1988. Thus, it was observed
that the weaker the economic positionof
the country the greater will be the relative impact of the damages on the
national economy. Natural disasters also affect key sectors of a country’s
economy creating, in addition to the economic losses, restrictions for the
evolution of economic growth.
Disasters tend to exacerbate
existing social problems and restrict the capacity of the governments to attend
such needs. Therefore, disaster planning should include disaster vulnerability
analyses of all large-scale development works including human settlements and
long-term disaster planning should include potential disaster effects as a new
variable - giving due consideration to needs for disaster relief programmes and
contingency measures to be adopted in cases of disaster.
15. Geophysical Hazards in
Developing Countries and their Environmental Impacts, Abstracts from
Hazards’91 an International Symposium, August 4-9, 1991, The International
Natural Hazards Society and The IAPSO Commission on Natural Marine Hazards.
The objective of this symposium
on natural and man-made hazards are to promote the advancement of hazard
sciences, to perceive and explore the aspects that may be similar among some of
the various hazards, to review the latest developments in a few selected
fields, and also to outline new directions for future research.
The symposium had sessions which
covered topics relating to earthquakes, water pollution, wind waves/storm
surges. Climatic/atmospheric hazards, oil slicks, tsunamis, the socio/economic
aspects, biological/environmental hazards and landslides. Papers were presented
by eminent people from various countries focusing on mitigation strategies and
preventive engineering in addition to gauging vulnerability of the society.
16. Herzer, Hilda Maria and
Sergio Federowisky. 1990. “Natural Disasters are not that Natural”,
International Sociological Association, Committee on Natural Disasters.
The term ‘nature’, the authors
argue is ambiguous since it conveys a double meaning : what is brought about by
Nature and what is logical according to the nature of things and their normal
course. By acceptance, it is understood that not only the acts of Nature, but
its effects themselves on the population become unavoidable events. According
to the authors, what will happen, when it will happen and to whom it will
affect when it happens is determined by the social, economic and political
structure of each particular society. Every disaster is a consequence of human
actions; a disaster is not a physical event but a social, political and
economic process triggered by a natural phenomenon. To call them natural is
inappropriate since such term implies that they might exist regardless of
societies and of men’s actions and decisions.
17. International Journal of Mass Emergencies and Disasters.
March 1989, Vol. 7, No. 1;
August 1989, Vol.7, No.2.;
November 1989, Vol.7, No. 3;
March 1990, Vol. 8, No. 1;
August 1990, Vol. 8, No.2;
November 1990, Vol. 8, No. 3;
March 1991, Vol. 9, No. 1;
August 1991, Vol. 9, No.2;
November 1991, Vol. 9, No.3;
March 1992, Vol. 10, No. 1;
August 1993, Vol. 11. No. 2;
November 1994, Vol. 12, No.3.
The official journal of The
Research Committee on Disasters, these
Journals, published tri-annually, address issues of theory, research,
planning and policy. The central purpose is the publication of results of
scientific research, theoretical and policy studies, and scholarly accounts of
such events as floods and earthquakes, explosions and massive fires, disorderly
crowds and riots, energy cut-offs and power blackouts, toxic chemical
poisonings and nuclear radiation exposures, and similar types of sudden
crisis-generating situations. The articles in these Journals reflect
cross-cultural data which is of prime importance in minimising the effects of
18. Jansson, Kurt, Micheal Harris
& Angela Penrose. 1987. THE ETHIOPIAN FAMINE : The Story of the
Emergency Relief Operation, Zed Books Ltd., London.
This concise, factual and
immensely well-informed book offers a unique insight into the causes and
consequences of the 1984-86 famine. The book investigates why such a potential
disaster was allowed to develop. Forewarning of imminent famine was available
from many sources early in 1984. Yet a complex web of factors prevented more
than a trickle of aid from reaching Ethiopia. The problem of rebel-held areas
in Tigray and Eritrea, the Ethiopian Government’s controversial resettlement
programme, accusations of corruption, inefficiency and food diversion are all
dealt with in a critical manner. Jansson argues that despite some shortcomings,
the UN system led to a largely effective operation which saved millions of
lives. Harris and Penrose provide essential background to this and show
conclusively that eleventh hour intervention could have been avoided had the
warning signals been heeded.
19. Keller, Edmond J. 1991.
“Drought, War and the Politics of Famine in Ethiopia”, Paper prepared for
presentation at the UCLA conference on the Impact of Natural Disasters : Agenda
for Future Action, Los Angeles, California, July 10-12, 1991.
This essay analyses critically
how politics has contributed to an exacerbation of the natural catastrophe of
drought in Ethiopia over the past decade. Despite being faced with a natural
disaster of enormous proportions, the government of Ethiopia’s People’s
Democratic Republic (PDRE) continued to pursue its expensive, ill-conceived
socialist development strategy and continued to attempt to militarily eliminate
In the process, the regime systematically
used relief aid as a replacement for funds it devoted to prosecuting military
objectives. The long-term implication of such developments is the persistence
of conditions that will continue to threaten all aspects of national as well as
regional security for some time to come.
20. Khondker, Habibul Haque.
1991. “The Socio-Political Consequences of Floods in Bangladesh : The Floods of
1988 in Perspective”, Paper prepared for presentation at the UCLA conference on
the Impact of Natural Disasters : Agenda for Future Action, Los Angeles,
California, July 10-12, 1991.
Although flooding of a
substantial part of the country is an annual environment hazard in Bangladesh,
the 1988 flood was special not only in terms of its magnitude but also its
consequences. The flood affected, for the first time, a large part of the capital
city Dhaka, submerging the diplomatic enclave and the cantonment. Also, for the
first time serious talk of flood prevention ensued after the flood water
receded and prompt actions were taken to provide relief to the victims.
This paper examines the social
and political context of the 1988 flood and the unusual response it evoked. The
paper argues that although flood is a natural hazard its effects and response
are determined by such factors as class background ofthe victims, their linkages to the centre of
power and the accessibility of media. The 1988 flood affected the elite, the
diplomatic corps, the military and the most affluent sections of the
Bangladeshi population. For the urban-based elites this was an intimate
experience of a natural disaster. Dhaka, being the center of both the local and
international press corps in Bangladesh, the flood received a great deal of
media coverage which also prompted dispatch of international aid. This paper
seeks to contribute to our understanding of the social determinants of the
consequences of the natural hazards which the flood of 1988 in Bangladesh
21. Kreps, Gary A. 1989.
“Disaster Preparedness : What does it mean?”, Lecture prepared for the Research
Seminar on Socioeconomic Aspects of Disasters in Developing Countries of the
Asian Pacific Region.
The first part of the lecture
highlights two central foundations of emergency management – improvisation and
preparedness. Each foundation is illustrated by an actual emergency situation.
These examples seek to show that improvising during an emergency is a basic
strength of human communities, and second, that the ability to improvise can be
increased before hand.
The second part of his lecture
offers a small set of focused principles of emergency preparedness which can be
applied to any level of government within a society. The principles are based
on realism about the disaster environment and the potential for emergency
In the third part of the lecture
Krepsproposes a useful way to identify
specific emergency needs. The approach involves asking local leaders to examine
their own situation in terms of a checklist of emergency management
22. Ottenberg, Perry. 1984.
“Civil Disaster Planning: A Psychiatric Perspective”, from Phenomenology and
Treatment of Psychiatric Emergencies, ed. B.S. Comstock, W.E. Fann, A.D.
Pokorny, and R.L. Williams. Spectrum Publications.
At times of disaster, when people
regress to unusual forms of behaviour, they may turn to psychiatry for
assistance. Psychiatry as a medical speciality is eminently qualified to cope
with massive grief, personal loss and sudden death that accompany civil
disasters. Civil disaster planning has therefore to challenge the acceptance of
irrational belief systems that avoid the troublesome process of consciousness
raising in nuclear, environmental and social disasters. The need is for
organisations which will form the basis for group support for each other to
bind the emergent anxiety. The phenomenon of civil disaster planning requires a
look at human kind’s worst fear – the nightmare of chaos that becomes reality.
One of the most important tasks in civil disaster planning is convincing people
that disaster is real and that reality can be modified through human
23. Panwalkar, V.G. “Political
and Social Dimensions of Natural Disasters (Floods) : An Analysis of Some
The paper deals with some of the
flood experiences with which the author was associated as a relief coordinator
under the aegis of different voluntary agencies. While presenting brief notes
on three different episodes, one particular experience is analysed in detail
and experience from other episodes is brought in to draw generalisations.The post relief situations, for instance, are
characterised by a number of charges and counter-charges of corruption and
manipulation, resulting in action against defaulting bureaucrats, including
their transfers and other punitive actions taking place. The pre-disaster
community dynamics has a lot of significance for the post-disaster relief and
rehabilitation. In most disasters, the unity of purpose experienced during the
first few weeks, start fading afterwards. More and more survivors think that
the relief organisations do not understand their problems. The bottlenecks in
resettlement and rehabilitation start becoming more prominent, and acquire
political dimension. Understanding disaster politics will thus require
identification of various levels of decision making and the degree of unity of
purpose that is achieved.
24. Planning Guidance for the
Chemical Stockpile Emergency Preparedness Program, February 1995, Oak Ridge
National Laboratory, Tennessee, USA
The planning guide was developed
under the direction of the U.S. Army and the Federal Emergency Management
Agency (FEMA) which jointly coordinate and direct the development of the
Chemical Stockpile Emergency Preparedness Program (CSEPP).
This document provides broad
planning guidance for use by both on-post and off-post agencies and
organisations in the development of a coordinated plan for responding to
chemical events.It contains checklists
to assist in assuring that all important aspects are included in the plans and
procedures developed at each Chemical Stockpile Disposal Program (CSDP)
location. The checklists are supplemented by planning guidelines in the
appendices which provide more detailed guidance regarding issues. This planning
guide broadly describes an adequate emergency planning base that assures that
critical planning decisions will be made consistently at every chemical
This document thereby hopes to
promote the development of an effective, complete, and comprehensive emergency
response capability at each chemical agent stockpile location by providing
guidance and direction to assist state, local, and Army installation planners
in formulating, coordinating, and maintaining effective emergency response
25. Quarantelli, E.L (ed). Disasters : Theory and Research. Sage
This book contains several
articles on community response and organisationrelating to disaster management. Wenger’s essay on “Community Response
to Disaster” is interesting for its examination of the basic alterations that
have been observed to occur in community structure and functions during
disaster situations with a focus on the American society. Kreps attempts to
define the basic elements of organised disaster response and then develop ideas
which both suggest patterns of inter-relationships among them and provide
mechanism to account for these patterns, while Stallings reviews a major
typology identifying four distinct types of organised behaviour in disaster and
lists the major propositions it has generated. The typology is grounded in a
larger model of organisational structure in crises and developing propositions
based upon some major premises of organisational theory which are specifically
testable in disaster.
26. Quarantelli, E. L. 1991.
“More and Worse Disasters in the Future”, Paper prepared for presentation at
the UCLA InternationalConference on the
Impact of Natural Disasters : Agenda for Future Action, Los Angeles,
Quarantelli identifies five conditions
that are responsible for the world facing more and worse disasters in the
future :- i. Old kinds of natural disaster agents will simply have more to hit
along some lines more vulnerable populations to impact. ii. There are new and
increasing kinds of technological accidents and mishaps that can result in
disasters which were almost nonexistent prior to World War II. iii.
Technological advances add complexity to old threats. iv. New versions of past
dangers. v. New risks emerging that have not been traditionally thought of as
in the province of emergency management.
The future disasters Quarantelli
feels will also be influenced by four other factors :
i. Natural disasters will
increasingly generate technological disasters. ii. Increasingly localities will
be faced with disastrous conditions from sources that are far from distant.
iii. Many of the future threats have high catastrophic potentials. iv. Some of
the future disasters will be economically more costly or socially disruptive.
27. Rahman, Atur. 1991.“Disaster and Development : A study in
Institution building in Bangladesh”, Paper prepared for presentation at the
UCLA InternationalConference on the
Impact of Natural Disasters : Agenda for Future Action, Los Angeles,
Rahman elucidates the view that
despite the ravaging effects of disasters in Bangladesh, the concern for
preparedness and mitigation of natural disasters still belong only to the
narrow domain of short term emergency crisis management and not to long run
sustainable development perspective of the decision makers in Bangladesh.
Therefore, Rahman feels in a country like Bangladesh, disasters ought to become
the central concern for development. The disaster preparedness programme must
broaden its scope from pre-disaster preoccupation and penetrate deep into the
post-disaster recovery and development phase.
At present, disaster preparedness
in Bangladesh is quite loose and responsibility of it remains dispersed in
several locations and lacks coherent institutional set-up. Key policy makers
therefore have to appreciate the urgency of relating disasters with development
with particular emphasis in removing vulnerabilities from the vast majority of
28. Research on Socio-economic
Aspects ofDisaster in the Asia-Pacific
Region, Seminar Report, March 22-24, 1989, Organised by Asian Disaster
Preparedness Centre (Asian Institute of Technology) and Disaster Research
Centre (University of Delaware), Sponsored by U.S. National Science Foundation
(Science in Developing Countries Division).
The report is divided into three
parts. Part I includes a more detailed description of the structure of the
seminar, a consolidated report of the status of social science research on
disaster within the region, and a statement of the concerns identified by the
participants as focal points for future research. In addition, the participants
also identified strategies that could facilitate the implementations of those
collective research goals.
Part II consists of a
consolidated bibliography of social science research in the region, and
bibliographic sources which were identified by participants. Part III includes
substantive papers that were used as reference materials at the Seminar. Those
papers include an overall paper on conceptualising disaster in ways productive
for social science research (Dynes), reviews of existing research that have
focused on mitigation, preparedness, and response and recovery, (Nigg, Kreps,
Tierney, Quarantelli), field research (Britton), and more extensive discussions
of the research tradition in India and Bangladesh (Ragavulu, Alam).
29. Sazanami, Hidehiko. 1991.
“Integration ofDisaster Managementwith Development Planning”, United Nations
Centre for Regional Development.
In developing countries where
resources available for national development are limited, little attention has
been given to disaster prevention measures. This has resulted in enormous
losses whenever they are hit by natural disasters, and this, in turn has
imposed further constraints on national development. Thus, the author argues it
is essential to incorporate long-term post-disaster rehabilitation and
reconstruction programmes into a comprehensive development planning process, as
well as short-term emergency relief and recovery programs. It is necessary to
take disaster prevention technology into account and to develop a program for
prioritising such technology from the standpoint of urban and regional planning
and plan application.
30. Sinha, Dilip Kumar1991, Coping with Natural Disasters An
Integrated Approach, Presidential Address, 78th session, Indian Science
Congress Association, Calcutta.
This presidential address
document looks at the various definitions of “Disaster” as also “prevention”
and “recovery” as enabling one to make use of them in the context of an
integrated approach to disaster management. The author reviews the existing warning
systems, and makes a case for enhanced usage of scientific methods for the
communication of knowledge and application of knowledge as envisaged by the UN
resolution for the IDNDR. The need of the day is a comprehensive disaster map
for the country as well as integrating communication and information management
to facilitate smoother technology transfer.
31. Smith, David Ingle. 1991.
“Flooding in Australia - Perspectives and Prospects”, UCLA International
Conference on the Impact ofNatural
Disasters, Los Angeles, California.
Smith reviews the flood
prevention situation in Australia as also the laws governing the state as well
as the local territories. He feels that many of the problems encountered have
been the result ofinappropriate
institutional arrangements and as such the physical nature of the flooding
problem cannot be separated from institutional matters. He asks basic questions
like what is a flood prone land, who is responsible for zoning,
cost-effectiveness of mitigation measures,flood warning systems, rare flood events etc. He recommends that zoning
should be undertaken jointly with the local community within guidelines produced
by state or federal governments. Ideally, this would lead to a choice of flood
standard that is appropriate to local conditions such as the pattern of
32. Sociology of Disasters :
Contribution of Sociology to Disaster Research.
This work has very notable essays
by authors like Neil Britton, Dennis Mileti, R. Dynes, J. Nigg, Thomas Drabek
et.al. These authors tackle various issues relating to the social aspects of
disaster. Britton provides a model illustrating the process of disaster
vulnerability in terms of the interaction between the physical event (disaster
agent) and the social condition of the human organisation, while Nigg focuses
on communication research during the pre-impact phase of a disaster and
differentiates between two units of analysis – organisational behaviour and
individual behaviour. Stallings’ essay looks exclusively at the contribution of
the sociology of disaster to the study of organisational change. The potential
of natural disasters as a research setting for the study of organisational
change is explored in light of current organisational theory and the
methodological requirements of such research.
33. “STOP Disasters”, Number 26,
IV/1995. The International Decade for Natural Disaster Reduction (IDNDR)
This issue of the magazine
concerns itself with the aspects of training and education as an important tool
to stop disasters. The challenge is to create the environment in which ideas,
knowledge and experience on disaster reduction can be freely exchanged and then
to ensure that such information is made accessible to those who use it for
disaster reduction, through relevant and appropriate training.
This issue contains many
important articles such as “Training for Disaster Reduction at Universities”,
Disaster Reduction for Safer Communities in Asia”, “Science and Disaster
Reduction”, “Training for Management of Urban Disasters”, “A False Prediction of
an Earthquake” etc.
This plan specifies the emergency
measures to be taken once an industrial disaster strikes the area. Basic
details about the industrial area are provided, like the number of industries,
the topography etc. Telephone numbers of emergency personnel are given as also
an area wise distribution of hospitals and fire services. General guidance on
the immediate response, a chemical response sheet, first aid treatment details
are listed in a simple manner.
35. Unscheduled Events : Research Committee on Disasters,
Newsletter of the International Research Committee of Disasters,Hazards Assessment Laboratory, Colorado State
Vol. 9, No. 1, 1991
Vol. 11, No. 1, 1993
Vol. 12, No. 1, 1994
These official newsletters of the
Research Committee on Disaster of the International Sociological Association
contain important papers such as “Strategies to reduce the vulnerability of
communication systems during disasters”, “The preparedness level of the tourism
industry to disasters”, apart from providing information about the happenings
(conferences, courses etc.) in relation to disaster research.
This book documents the growing
threat to human life and the environment posed by the global pesticide
business. It evaluates the risks involved in the current worldwide escalation
in the production and use of agricultural pesticides. It provides the information
needed for a common fight against a common danger. David Weir argues for a new
awareness, increased knowledge, and, most of all the will to act locally and
globally. There is the need to change the value systems ofindustrial enterprises so that the health and
safety of both people and the environment is paramount, superseding any
technical or commercial considerations. This will include the “right to know’
and the “freedom of information” on health and safety issues. The book by David
Weir takes us on a journey through many continents and shows us the pervasiveness
of“the Bhopal Syndrome.”
37. Wijkman, Anders andLloyd Timberlake, 1984, Natural disasters
Acts of God or acts of Man?, Earthscan, International Institute for
Environment and Development and the Swedish Red Cross.
Droughts, famines, floods,
hurricanes, earthquakes, volcanoes...six times more people died from natural
disasters each year in the 190s than in the 1960s. But the number of disaster
went up by only 50 %. Why?
This book shows how people are
changing their environment to make it more prone
to disasters, and to make themselves more vulnerable. It shows that disasters mainly hit poor people in poor
countries. It shows how misleading the term “natural disasters” can be. Forces
of nature such as earthquakes, cyclones and extreme variations in weather can
trigger disasters, but in many Third World countries it is environmental
degradation, poverty and rapid population growth which turn a natural hazard
into a major disaster.
The book questions whether the
rich nations’ usual response to disaster - fast, short-lived emergency
assistance - is any longer adequate. Today, most major disasters are
“development” gone wrong, development which puts millions of poor people on the
margins of existence.
Disaster relief alone is like
bandaging a rapidly grown wound. The appropriate response must include an
element of true development - development which reduces rather than increases
vulnerability to disasters.
38. Wilhite, Donald A. 1991.
“Overcoming the Enigma of Drought : Policy issues for the 1990s”, International
Conference on “The Impact of Disasters”, University of California, Los Angeles.
Drought is the most complex and
least understood of all natural hazards, affecting more people world-wide than
any other hazard. Previous research has shown that the impacts of both
short-term and multiyear drought have been aggravated by poorly conceived or
non-existent assessment and response efforts by governments. The lessons of
these past response efforts strongly suggest that the “risk management” or
proactive approach to drought management is a more effective mitigation tool
than the “crisis management” or reactive approach. Sharply focused contingency
plans, prepared in advance, can assist government and others in the early
identification of drought and its likely impacts, lessen personal hardship,
improve the economic efficiency of resource allocation, and ultimately, reduce
drought related impacts and the need for government sponsored assistance
programmes. This paper provides an overview of the concept of drought and
planning as a means to reduce societal vulnerability. A planning process
completed to facilitate the development of drought plans by state government in
the United States is presented as a model that could be adapted to other levels
of government and to other drought-prone areas.
39. Winchester Peter, 1992, Power,
Choice and Vulnerability : A Case Study in Disaster Management in South India,
James and James Science Publishers Ltd., London.
By examining the cyclone prone
area of Andhra Pradesh in great detail over a 10-year period Peter Winchester
has come up with some perceptive answers towards disaster management. In
particular, he formulates a set of five “golden rules” for disaster management.
The aim of the book is to explain how a view of vulnerability that is different
from the one currently being used can improve some aspects of disaster
management and can go some way in making disaster mitigation and post-disaster
development more effective. The view centres on the concept of differential
vulnerability which is applicable to all types of disaster but has here emerged
from a study of cyclone mitigation policies and post-cyclone disaster
40. World Map Of Natural
Hazards. 1988. Munich Re, Germany.
For the purpose of illustrating
objectively the worldwide distribution of exposure to the most significant
natural hazards, Munich Re has created this map of the world. Numerous Maps
have been published in recent decades showing the geographical distribution of
natural hazards. Most of them are of limited value since they deal with
individual hazards, one single area or mark and grade the exposure according to
subjective criteria. This world map tries to avoid these inadequacies. Wherever
possible, exposure details have been given as figures. The exposure details
contained in the world map indicate wherever possible, the three factors,
intensity, frequency and reference period.
41. Vrolijks, Luc and Elina Palm.
1995. “Disaster Reduction in Urban Areas”, Policy Paper by Secretariat of the
International Decade for Natural Disaster Reduction.
The paper outlines the strategies and approaches of the International Decade
for Natural Disaster Reduction (IDNDR, 1990-2000), and gives a brief overview
of its institutional arrangements and programmes. It emphasises the importance
of urbanisation for the level of risk to natural disasters and other phenomena,
and highlights the need to address disaster management issues in the context
of urban development planning. The paper analyses disaster reduction as a multi-sectoral
issues in urban development and notes that themainissues
that should be considered include housing, infrastructure, urban poverty, land
use and urban management. The paper indicates how the IDNDR framework can assist
in addressing these issues and outlines some key policies for consideration.
Emphasis is placed on attainable goals in reducing the vulnerability of the
people at risk, mostly low-income groups. Urban infrastructure and critical
facilities need special attention, in particular in very large areas. Institutional
strengthening is required to improve the capacities of governments to prepare
for and respond to disasters and other emergencies.