Hazard mapping locates areas prone to slope failures. This will help to avoid building settlements in such areas. These maps will also serve as a tool for mitigation planning. Land use
practices such as:
Areas covered by degraded natural vegetation in upper slopes are to be afforested with suitable species. Existing patches of natural vegetation(forest and natural grass land) in good condition, should be preserved
Any developmental activity initiated in the area should be taken up only after a detailed study of the region has been carried out.
In construction of roads, irrigation canals etc. proper care is to be taken to avoid blockage of natural drainage
Total avoidance of settlement in the risk zone should be made mandatory.
Relocate settlements and infrastructure that fall in the possible path of the Landslide.
No construction of buildings in areas beyond a certain degree of slope.
Retaining Walls can be built to stop land from slipping (these walls are commonly seen along roads in hill stations). These are constructed to prevent smaller sized and secondary landslides that often occur along the toe portion of the larger landslides.
Surface Drainage Control Works The surface drainage control works are implemented to control the movement of landslides accompanied by infiltration of rain water and spring flows.
Engineered structures with strong foundations can withstand or take the ground movement forces. Underground installations (pipes, cables, etc.) should be made flexible to move in order to withstand forces caused by the landslide
Increasing vegetation cover is the cheapest and most effective way of arresting landslides. This helps to bind the top layer of the soil with layers below, while preventing excessive run-off and soil erosion.
Insurance will assist individuals whose homes are likely to be damaged by landslides or by any other natural hazards.
Prevention and Response
Role of Industry
a) Identification of Hazardous activities
A knowledgeable and dedicated team of qualified professionals to evaluate the hazards and risks arising is essential.
Use of appropriate hazard identification tools would help in mitigating the hazards.
b) Maintenance of the plant facility and equipment
Proper maintenance of all the equipment and machinery need to be carried out at regular intervals to ensure that the plant facility is safe.
c) Installation of Vapour / gas detection System
Installation of gas / vapour detection system with alarms to detect leak even at micro levels would ensure that the leaks are attended at the early stages.
d) Compliance with existing rules and regulations
Various rules and regulations of the state and centre should be strictly adhered for a sustainable and safe process.
e) Development of human resource management
A good human resource management must be setup by the industry comprising of the top most officials to improve the safety systems in the chemical industry.
f) Emergency preparedness
The industry must have a good emergency response team that can react swiftly to mitigate disasters.
Role of Government:
1.Setting up accident investigation board and chemical accident database
An accident investigation board in similar lines of chemical safety board of USA can be setup in India to investigate the chemical disaster and bring out guidelines based on the lessons learnt in each incident.
An online portal would help industries tackle a wide range of concerns from experts around the world that would help in preventing any unforeseen conditions arising out of the plant operation.
The government can provide awareness regarding the hazards arising out a chemical disaster to the workers as well as the public.
3. Research and Development
R&D initiative to newer technologies that can minimize the toxicity of the by-products of chemical industries can be carried out by the government.
Research into newer methods of producing the product with less toxicity can substantially reduce the adverse effect if any accident were to happen.
4. Transportation of Hazardous Chemicals
Swift and timely availability of emergency response for disaster during transportation of hazardous chemical will help in mitigating and rescue the public involved.
Recently Indian Chemical Council (ICC) has initiated a programme called “Nicerglobe” which provide GPRS tracking of trucks right from its origin to the place of destination.
Role of Public:
A general awareness of the risk associated with any chemical accident would help in reducing the outcome of the accident.
A mutual aid group can be setup to organize the general public in case of any disaster and provide training and awareness about the potential actions to be taken in case of any chemical leakage.
Due to chemical disaster the damage to the industry’s reputation is almost irrevocable. The result of a chemical disaster has effects through generations of populations which are almost irreparable and the cost of that to the affected people is unimaginable.