1.01.Definition of Disaster Management by NDMA:
Disaster Management is a multi-faceted approach by a group of professionals with competence to address the diverse issue that will involve formulation of Rules, Regulations, preparation of Guidelines and Operating Procedures, Law making, Enforcement, Legislation, Managing Humanitarian aspects and Traumatic situations, addressing complex socio-economic and technical issues. The technique therefore has to be based on knowledge and infrastructure by competent professional related to the task, terrain and activity therein.
In the course of time, Disaster Management approach had a paradigm shift, gained from the experience of the past, to a proactive and holistic approach to disasters to pre-empt these instead of Post Disaster responses. Disaster Management process is a developmental opportunity to improve the society and thereby reduce the Risk Factor to the society. The society is made capable to respond by themselves to achieve their goal by disaster preparedness so that society is not susceptible to disasters and the impact will be less.
Engineering construction activity is to be geared with sound practices, for growth and development with a legal framework and to enforce the rule of law, to help the disaster management preparedness by the authorities in the system.
1.02. Definition of ‘Disaster’ in Railways:
“Railway Disaster is a serious train accident or an untoward event of grave nature, either on the railway premises or arising out of railway activity in that area, due to natural or man-made causes, that may lead to loss of many lives and/or grievous injuries to a large number of people, and/or severe disruption of traffic, necessitating large scale help from other Government/Non-government and Private Organizations.”
Despite the earnest efforts taken to manage every disaster efficiently, in some train accidents involving heavy casualties, the relief and rescue operations could not be resolved satisfactorily. Accidents involving heavy casualties and in difficult terrain like ghat sections with a number of bridges, tunnels, cuttings and also bad weather conditions, make the rescue and relief work more difficult and necessitates the assistance of specialized outside agencies in addition to Railways’ own resources.
1.03.Authority to declare a Disaster on Railways:
(Rly Board’s Lr.No.2003/Safety/(DM)/6/2 Pt. dated 06.01.2009)
Railway Board has authorized GMs, AGMs or PCSOs (when GM/AGM is not available) for declaring an untoward incident as Railway Disaster. With the adoption of the above definition of railway disaster, it needs to be appreciated that, a serious train accident may turn into a railway disaster, if not handled and managed properly and there may be many more Railway related events which may not even involve human lives but may turn into disasters for which necessary prevention and mitigation measures are to be taken by the Railways beforehand. Zonal Railways will ensure that prevention, mitigation, preparedness, rescue and relief related issues covering all types of disasters, particularly affecting railway system are addressed and their details are appropriately incorporated in their Disaster Management Plans.
The High-Level Committee on Disaster Management analysed the various aspects of the present Disaster Management System and has pointed out areas of deficiencies such as lack of precision, speed and co-ordination, non-availability of clear procedure to avail outside resources and non-availability of an updated Data Bank on outside agencies resources etc. Some important measures suggested by HLCR on Disaster Management are as under;
Till now, instant Response, Relief and Rescue are primary objectives of Disaster Management Plan.With the enactment of Disaster Management Act-2005, it is widened to the following areas:
1.Prevention, Preparedness & Capacity Building
2.Preparation of Data Bank
3.Streamlining the Logistics of Railways
4.Seeking assistance from State Government and involvement of Local Civilian Authorities
5.Effective Trauma Care
6.Proper Trigger Mechanism to ensure adequate medical care within “Golden Hour”
7.Divisional/Zonal Disaster Management Plan
8.Making use of Non-Railway Resources
9.Maintenance of ART to have Fail Proof Service
10.Defining responsibilities of various Staff/Departments
In addition, DM Plan should also be a golden opportunity for developmental process, in which, quality and standard of construction process shall be based upon standard civil engineering procedures.
With the view to build up appropriate capability to manage Disaster at Divisional/Zonal levels, clear instructions, defining the role of various departments are required. This Disaster Management Plan issued by S. W. Railway covers such instructions to organize an efficient Rescue and Relief operation and lay down the basic framework for immediate action by every Railway Servant. It has been dovetailed with information what so ever made available from respective State Governments/Armed Forces, etc. as also from Divisional Disaster Management Plans of UBL, SBC & MYS divisions. Details of Hospitals, NGOs and Organizations having infrastructure facilities and resources available with civil authorities useful in Disaster Management are made available in this document.
1.04.Zonal Disaster Management Plan of South Western Railway focuses on tackling the following situations:
ØFloods and Breaches
ØBomb Blasts/Explosions and other Terrorist Activities
ØHazardous Gas (Emergencies/Calamities), which assumes the magnificence of a Disaster as prescribed in the definition of disaster in Railway parlance.
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