Vehicle to combat chemical disasters

Ahmedabad, Nov 22 | Updated: Nov 23 2005, 06:44am hrs
The Gujarat State Disaster Management Authority (GSDMA) is planning to launch a hazardous material van in consultation with the state government to provide help at the time of chemical disasters.

With this specialised vehicle, chemical errors in industries could be detected with latest techniques, said V Thirippugazh, joint CEO of the Authority.

The vehicle aims to combat disasters like gas leakage and fire and would be operational within five months time, initially, in Ahmedabad and Baroda. The number of vehicles may increase eventually as there are large number of chemical units in the southern parts of the state.

Each vehicle would cost around Rs 1.5 crore wherein world-class equipment embedded with latest technology and facilities would be provided to fight industrial disasters.

Along with the state-of-the-art technology, the vehicle would include chemical suits with which the fire-fighter could enter into any chemical contaminated area and decontaminate it. The other equipments involved are- tents, plugging facilities, under water cling suits, chemical protective suits, line-through suits, neumatic-leak scaling plugs, hi-fi binoculars and more. The specially designed vehicle is quite different from the normal rescue van.

The chemical industry in Gujarat comprises of about 500 large and medium scale industrial units, about 16,000 of small-scale industrial units and other factory sector units. Chemical and Petrochemical Industry is the leading sector and the safety of the workers engaged in industries, is undoubtedly a big question, says Thirippugazh.